What is a MOOC?

The MOOCs have just born and, therefore, are in a process of transformation and settlement and nobody can categorically say what a MOOC is. But in some way, MOOCs are the natural evolution of OpenCourseWare, first created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2001. Therefore, it does not surprise that MIT also leads the development of MOOCs, first with MITx, and then with edX.

The term MOOC was coined during the course “Connectivism and Connective Knowledge” by Dave Cormier, from the University of Prince Edward Island (Canada).

A massive open online course (MOOC) is an online course aimed at large-scale interactive participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings, and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for the students, professors, and teaching assistants (TAs). MOOCs are a recent development in distance education.

The MOOC model for digital practise, a clear definition of a MOOC can be found:


       A MOOC is an online course with the option of free and open registration, a publicly-shared curriculum, and open-ended outcomes. MOOCs integrate social networking, accessible online resources, and are facilitated by leading practitioners in the field of study. Most significantly, MOOCs build on the engagement of learners who self-organize their participation according to learning goals, prior knowledge and skills, and common interests.

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