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Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC)

A massive open online course (MOOC) is a type of online course targeting large-scale participation and open access via the internet. MOOCs are a relatively recent development in open distance education.

Development of MOOC

Siemen's 2008 course content was available through RSS feeds...

  • Learners could participate with their choice of tools: threaded discussions in Moodle, blog posts, Second Life, and synchronous online meetings. Soon other independent MOOCs emerged, including PLENK2010 and DS106. Jim Groom from The University of Mary Washington and Michael Branson Smith of York College, City University of New York, have adopted this course structure and successfully hosted their own MOOCs through various universities across the globe.

  • Colleges have been building global student bodies and trying to create models for MOOCs, which can harness the power of their huge enrollments to teach in new ways, applying crowd-sourcing technology to discussion forums and grading and enabling professors to use online lectures and reserve on-campus class time for interaction with students.

  • At this time a handful of companies are offering college-level instruction — once available to only a select few, on campus, at great cost — free, to anyone with an Internet connection.

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Sarah Cisse
Alvin Sherman Library