What is a MOOC?

Massive Open Online Course

"What is a MOOC?" YouTube. Apr 27, 2012.

This video introduces MOOC as an online learning course that supersedes traditional learning by providing access to data from everywhere.  MOOC learning occurs in online setting that can be generated for anyone interested can join these educational topics and participate how they like.  This type of social networking is open to millions of participants thus creating a worldwide networking environment where people’s interests are collaborated throughout the world.  Importantly a MOOC has no set path and is always open to having new ideas introduced to the topic.

Why MOOCs and Online Learning?

"The Voice of the Active Learner" YouTube. August 7, 2012.

This video highlights the importance of Online Learning environment isl emphasized on the video above.  A Universal interaction with the usage of the latest technologies to be connected with those that have actual experience.  A network that will help her prepare for the future because being more connected makes it that more interesting. The ability to share and collaborate instantly to be that digital native, and active learner.

A Success Story

"Instruction for Masses Knocks Down Campus Walls" The New York Times. March 4, 2012.

This article presents Stanford’s success based on their experience from introducing MOOC’s to a large audience.  This data indicates that last fall an astounding 160,000 students in 190 countries enrolled in this Artificial Intelligence course taught by Mr. Thrun and Peter Norvig.  Based on just an experimental MOOC implementation, Stanford offered two other MOOCs, Machine Learning that caught the attention of  104,000 registers resulting in 13,000 student completing the course and Introduction to Databases  which registered 92,000 and resulted in 7,000 completions). They have become so successful that this spring alone, the university will have 13 MOOC’s open to the world, including Anatomy, Cryptography, Game Theory and Natural Language Processing.

Timeline &Potential Future Problems

"Four Barriers That MOOCs Must Overcome To Build a Sustainable Model" e-Literate. July 24, 2012.

This article reveals the evolution of MOOC as well as the Potential future Problems are underlined. Phil Hill states that "Given this short timeline and the nature of investment-backed educational experiments, I think the real focus should be on whether and how MOOCs or successor models build on current scalability and openness while overcoming these four barriers."

Why are MOOCs becoming Popular?

"The MOOC model for digital practice" Massive Open Online Courses Digital ways of knowing and learning. 2010.

This research points out the existence of MOOC’s is becoming the trend of the present and future.  These MOOC’s provide several key factors that have contributed to making this an attractive way of learning to countless potential participants. The experience from being online alone has its attributions to its popularity because it is a way of constantly improving as technology continues to evolve.  The increasing cost of higher education force some to look for less expensive alternatives, alternatives that even a college might take on to help allow participants build professional and personal skill set on their own time.

Major Players


  • Access to courses and instruction that would not otherwise be publicly available
  • Promotes Online & Hybrid initiatives
  • MOOCs are free for all who are interested
  • Participants do not have to be enrolled in the institution which hosts the MOOC
  • Build your PLN (Professional Learning Network)


  • The need for basic digital literacy
  • The need for self-regulation of learning
  • The potential for minor interaction with the course instructor
  • The lack of in person, real world socializing, presenting and practical experience
  • Drop-out Rates
  • "Who Will Online Higher Education Help?" Slate. September 6, 2012.

    MOOC’s are presenting big changes with the higher education through a digital technology. Users look toward available technologies to learn new and existing things via MOOC’s that are offered. Those that cannot afford an education have the ability to learn outside the box by joining MOOC’s and using those skills to help them prepare for a paid education. Reality has set in that a traditional learning is causing a rise of debt rather than a successful education, MOOC’s are the new trend that will open great learning opportunities for all.
    (Thanks to Steven Ovadia for recommendation of this wonderful resource)
  • "The Siege of Academe" Ebscohost LaGuardia Community College (CUNY). Sep/Oct 2012.

    This article discusses how Silicon Valley has never succeeded in breaching the walls of higher education by welcoming the new technology such as available MOOC’s until now. The article goes in to full detail how they are finally breaking through from the analog styles and using these MOOC’s to dive into the Digital environment we have become. Various scenarios portray how many of those parts of the Higher-Ed have never been exposed to these technological and current innovations that MOOC’s are the present and future.
    (Thanks to Steven Ovadia for recommendation of this second wonderful resource)
  • "Massive List of MOOC Resources, Lit and Literati" Mediasite by sonicfoundry. June 25, 2012.

    Those truly interested in MOOC’s will find that this article contains multiple MOOC resources such as explanations, definitions and point of views. It emphasizes that MOOCs have produced an extremely large. The article mentions that clients have started engaging in the education via the online medias such as hybrid, completely online or on-demand. They have gathered countless data on MOOC’s and shared with the world in this resourceful article.
  • "How to MOOCify your course and why you should do it: Reasons, skills and tools #moocmooc [update]" Researchity – Exploring Open Research and Open Education. August 17, 2012.

    This article points out that MOOC’s can be simple yet important, and can be easily created from a twitter forum. The article further explains that when you MOOCify a course you basically create an important topic and share it with the world. Convert a traditional in class course to an online one by allowing a network of participants. Peer interaction, engagements, usage of open content already available online. Key factors include reducing the cost of education, promoting the institutions capability to function online, and become a part of the cutting edge trends of today and the future.
  • "Moving toward MOOCs" Community College Times - American Association of Community Colleges. October 19, 2012.

    This article from ccTimes indicates that even though MOOCs are popular, they may not be right for every institution. Colleges need to first assess the institutions capacity and ensure that technical and instructional requirements can be met, according to the EDUCAUSE brief. As FRCC’s Novak stated “Engaging instructors is also key to ensuring that a MOOC is a success for the student and the college”, in simple terms it means that being in the loop is the greatest factor in any successful learning environment.
  • "Why Do Students Flock to MOOC's?" The Chronicle of Higher Education. July 26, 2012.

    Based on this articles research amongst others, points out that over than 900,000 students have signed up for MOOC’s that have been offered by major universities through Coursera. With just being active for less than a year they have had 650 students attend the MOOC event. A sufficient amount of audio interviews can be accessed through this article explaining and supporting the student’s motivations on why they have enjoyed their gathering for the available MOOCs.
  • "A Pioneer in Online Education Tries a MOOC" The Chronicle of Higher Education. October 1, 2012.

    This article discusses Ann Kirschner’s opinion on MOOC’s although she is not too fond the Acronym MOOC she does however reminisce on past times. She discusses that in 1999 she had encountered an online and networked learning environment and was something on the back of her mind. Now that MOOC’s have been introduced in full force her interested regarding MOOC’s has greatly increased. She has found MOOC’s to be an increasingly popular topic and states, “Others were higher-education folks like me, testing the MOOC waters”. This article mainly points out that MOOC’s are being accepted and noticed by a vast network of diverse pioneers.
    (Thanks to Roslyn Orgel for recommendation of this wonderful resource)

This MOOC presentation was made possible by the collaboration between Jetmir Troshani and Priscilla Stadler. Big thanks also to Gerard Irizarry, Michael Cutajar, Mehmet Celik, Steven Ovadia and Roslyn Orgel for their close cooperation. Finally many thanks go to ‘Instructional Staff Planning’ team lead Bret Eynon for making sure this project was going on the right direction. Your suggestions, questions, comments and concerns made a substantial constructive difference to this presentation.

Comment Stream