What is a MOOC?

Mooc stands for a massive open online course.

It is an online course aimed at large-scale participation and open access via the internet

They are similar to university courses, but do not tend to offer academic credit

A number of web-based platforms – including edX, Coursera and Udacity – supported by top universities and colleges offer Moocs in a wide range of subjects.

Massive open online courses – threat or opportunity?- From BBC

Can online courses with large-scale interactive participation and open access via the web replace face-to-face teaching in a traditional university setting? Newsnight’s David Grossman examines the rise of massive open online courses (Moocs).

Former US President Bill Clinton said recently the higher education industry needs to undergo a “dramatic change”.


“I think the only sustainable answer is to find a less expensive delivery system,” he said.


The Mooc could just be the answer. The question is, at what cost?


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MOOC (Free courses) Students Attracted Most By Course Topics


According to a survey of participants in courses on the Canvas Network,

  • 76% students said they signed up because of the topic,
  • 75% because it was free, 
  • 61% for professional development, and
  • 44% because they wanted to find out what MOOCs are all about. 
  • It turned out that 72% of those who enrolled were themselves professional educators.

Students who enroll in massive open online courses (MOOCs) enroll mostly out of sheer interest in the topic, and when they don’t finish it’s often because life got in the way. The survey, conducted in May and June, polled 1,834 people from the Canvas Network registration database, including 696 who had just enrolled and 1,138 who had completed MOOC courses.

Although not a major motivation at time of enrollment, the study did find that credentials or college credit could increase MOOC completion rates. About two-thirds of respondents said they would be more likely to complete a MOOC that offered a certificate or transferable college credit. About 10% who didn’t complete noted lack of incentive as the main reason. Although the survey didn’t necessarily capture a representative sampling of all those who dropped out, of those who said they did not complete a MOOC, 68% said they got too busy and 20% said they lost interest. “Time is a very valuable commodity, and things do come up. When the course is electronic or virtual, it’s easier to walk away than it would be from an in-person engagement.”

The study also found that only 60% of incoming students planned to participate in MOOC discussion forums, but 72% of those who completed the course wound up engaging in online discussions. Students who were highly engaged in discussions were six times more likely to complete a course, according to the survey. Of the incoming students, 30% had taken a MOOC previously, most commonly with Coursera (81%), followed by another Canvas Network course (36%), an edX course (22%) or one from Udacity (20%). Many were building on prior higher education, meaning a four-year degree (19%), a master’s (37%) or a doctoral degree (11%).

“They tend to be lifelong learners or people who have advanced degrees already,” said Misty Frost, Instructure’s VP of marketing. “They’re people who are interested in learning — and interested in learning interesting things.” If they find that the material is not interesting, it’s easy enough for them to drop the course, she said. Perhaps that’s why the Canvas Network’s number-one course is one on “Gender Through Comic Books.” “It has that edutainment value,” Frost said. Instructure worked with Qualtrics to poll students in an effort to better understand what attracts MOOC students. The LMS provider is in the MOOC business to support its customers who want to experiment with the medium, she said.

Know these points before taking an open Online course (MOOC Tips)

We bring you some tips from an independent blogger before you take up a MOOC Course. Don`t sign up for all the courses that you like.

Let your platter not be more full than what you could take in. Take 1 or 2 courses at a time.

Have a fixed study time just as like we have it the universities ans stick to the schedule. Most of these courses demand 5-7 hours a week. Don`t watch all the 5 lectures at one single stretch. Watch only one video per day and understand the indent of it.

Take notes as you watch the lecture. Pay utmost attention to the lecture as you would do in a traditional course. Sign out from G talk, Facebook and all the other distracting features such as ad`s in the sidebar. Keep all browser tabs closed except the one that is needed. Needless to say, avoid distractions at home/office and keep your cell phone in silent mode.

Participate in the discussion forums. Involve yourself in these discussion forums. I made many friends from many countries through the discussion forums. Ask your questions here, answer other students question. Be kind of others. I have seen lot of rude dominating activities in these discussion forums. Refrain from these kinds of activities and keep in mind that the professor keeps a eye on the discussion forums. Discussion Forums are meant to help others, so keep it clean.

Try honestly to solve the assignments. Here is a warning : If you go through the discussion forums, you will find the answers/solution tips, but avoid doing this. Only if you could not answer/dint understand the questions, go to the discussion forums. The objective is learn by doing, not learn by copying.

Tell to your family, friends and colleagues that you are taking a course. Put it up on your social media websites. This makes you accountable and answerable, hence, you would stay focused on completing the course.

Don`t do the course just for the sake of certificate. The certificate is just a piece of paper and has no real value in market or it will not help you get a promotion or increase the value of your resume. So, focus on learning concepts rather than certificate.



What is a MOOC? Video by Dave Cormier

Written and Narrated by Dave Cormier,

Video by Neal Gillis

Researchers:
Dave Cormier
Alexander McAuley
George Siemens
Bonnie Stewart


Created through funding received by the University of Prince Edward Island through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s “Knowledge Synthesis Grants on the Digital Economy