MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Courses. According to Wikipedia, a MOOC is “an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web”. Wikipedia goes on to say “MOOCs are a recent and widely researched development in distance education which were first introduced in 2008 and emerged as a popular mode of learning in 2012”. The term MOOC was coined in 2008 by Dave Cormier of the University of Prince Edward Island.

MOOC’s include traditional course materials such as

  • filmed lectures
  • readings
  • problem sets

and may also include interactive user forums to support community interactions among students, professors, and teaching assistants.

Wikipedia says: “Before the Digital Age, distance learning appeared in the form of correspondence courses in the 1890s-1920s, and later radio and television broadcast of courses and early forms of e-learning. Typically fewer than five percent of the students would complete a course. The 2000s saw changes in online, or e-learning and distance education, with increasing online presence, open learning opportunities, and the development of MOOCs.”. Wikipedia says “Alongside the development of these open courses, other E-learning platforms emerged – such as Khan Academy, Peer-to-Peer University (P2PU), Udemy and ALISON – which are viewed as similar to MOOCs and work outside the university system or emphasize individual self-paced lessons”.
Wikipedia says the following about the Digital Age: “The Information Age (also known as the Computer Age, Digital Age, or New Media Age) is a period in human history characterized by the shift from traditional industry that the Industrial Revolution brought through industrialization, to an economy based on information computerization. The onset of the Information Age is associated with the Digital Revolution, just as the Industrial Revolution marked the onset of the Industrial Age.”

Wikipedia says: “As MOOCs have evolved, there appear to be two distinct types: those that emphasize the connectivist philosophy, and those that resemble more traditional courses. To distinguish the two, Stephen Downes proposed the terms ‘cMOOC’ and ‘xMOOC'”.

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