What is a MOOC?

There is no commonly accepted definition, but this is what Wikipedia says:

A massive open online course (MOOC) is a type of online course aimed at large-scale participation and open access via the web. MOOCs are a recent development in the area of distance education, and a progression of the kind of open education ideals suggested by open educational resources.

I think MOOCs are fair game for becoming another facet of the FOAM restoration/ revolution. In fact, FOAM is already a form of perpetual psuedo-MOOC  — without a start or an end date and with no option to pay for a qualification.

Here is Dave Cormier’s (@davecormier) take on ‘What is a MOOC?”

An example of a MOOC-like project in the works is Cardiac Arrest, Hypothermia, and Resuscitation Science by Benjamin Abella, who is one of my colleagues on the Editorial Board of EM Critical Care. I’m looking forward to seeing it in action. There are plenty of examples of MOOCs listed on the MOOC Wikipedia page.

But if you’re a learner using a MOOC, how can you make it work? Here is Dave Cormier again:

Now, anyone want to sign up for a MOOC by Scott Weingart on EM Critical Care? I thought so… Who knows, maybe one day it will happen…


  1. says

    The New York Times published a feature article this week titled, “The Year of the MOOC.” Found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/04/education/edlife/massive-open-online-courses-are-multiplying-at-a-rapid-pace.html?smid=pl-share

    I took my own MOOC on finance a few months ago and made it half-way through…then began ignoring email reminders in my inbox.

    The issue I have is that the medium is not changed. In general, these are still lectutres. Yet, we lose the classroom interaction. There is no doubt that a benefit is the opportunity it creates to listen to an expert. But, I am not sold, yet.


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