What is a MOOC?

(from Wikipedia, December 2018)

A MOOC was a Massive Open Online Course, a form of online learning briefly fashionable in 2012. It did not differ in any way, other than the price tag, from other attempts to popularise online learning. Students “interacted” with video recordings of lectures, read online articles, played with scripted quizzes and received unsatisfactory feedback on their work.

As unlikely as it may appear, many contemporary writers suggested that these would “disrupt” traditional forms of education, making them redundant.

Types of MOOC

  • xMOOC: these were large commercial tools used to harvest and sell user data, whilst giving the impression of being educational. After completing an xMOOC a student could print off a piece of paper saying they had done so, for a small charge.
  • cMOOC: these were small, educational-research driven means of experimenting with a new theory of online learning called connectivism, largely to cohorts of other educational researchers.

Things that aren’t MOOCs

  • Phonar, Picbod and other courses based at Coventry University are open classes
  • DS106 is 4life.
  • Social media is just a way of discovering resources and talking about them with interested peers around the world and obviously has nothing at all to do with education.

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