What is a MOOC?

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are an evolutionary step further than Open Content. A few faculty have begun using online platforms to teach courses to large numbers of students, occasionally reaching above 100,000 enrollments in a single course offering. These courses are offered for free to anyone who chooses to access them. In the majority of cases, course credits are not offered for completing a MOOC. While one-off MOOCs have been taught since at least 2008, they are rapidly gaining momentum, largely due to companies and collaborative projects such as Coursera, edX, and Udacity.

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1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Mooc next step in distance education . My top 10 MOOC platforms http://bitly.com/moocin2013 including Iversity and MOOC.ORG - LucianeCurator LucianeCurator Oct 9, 2013
  • Again this hugh trend is mostly attractive for universities. The scaling effect within schools - at least in Germany - is too low. Offering MOOCs for schools on a country-wide level won't be easy to organize and offer such session for school kids as they all have too different time tables and curricula. - anna.hoberg anna.hoberg Oct 21, 2013 Agree, Moocs with emphasis on higher education, less suitable for K12 - Pieter.Swager Pieter.Swager Oct 30, 2013 .
  • Given that we are talking about the schools sector (K12), the most promising application of MOOCs is Teacher Initial Education and Continuing Professional Development. By using MOOCs in this way, teachers (and particularly those in management or leadership positions) develop their knowledge skills and competence in a range of fields, but importantly - they do so by using technology platforms as a medium for their own learning and they gain experience in building communities of practice and honing collaborative and team-oriented skills.- jimdevine jimdevine Oct 23, 2013 - agree - helga helga Oct 26, 2013 agree - roger.blamire roger.blamire Oct 30, 2013 agree - Pieter.Swager Pieter.Swager Oct 30, 2013 - stasele.riskiene stasele.riskiene
  • Use of MOOCs by school students themselves may follow a different pattern, unless the assessment component is recognised for credit within the school system itself. In other words, MOOCs may be used without assessment simply as OER to supplement school-based teaching and/or to enable a 'flipped classroom' transformation.- jimdevine jimdevine Oct 23, 2013
  • I Agree to say that MOOCs could enable flipped classroom transformation, only if they are produced like a collection of open (in terms of copyright) reusable ressources, like opencourseware ressources - Jean-Pierre.Berthet Jean-Pierre.Berthet Oct 31, 2013

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • There has been written already so much about this topic. In order to mention just the most relvant aspects, which need to be considered: cMooc vs xMOOC, Open Content vs. enrollment in classes - anna.hoberg anna.hoberg Oct 21, 2013 - Agree - Jean-Pierre.Berthet Jean-Pierre.Berthet Oct 31, 2013
  • The cMOOC, xMOOC distinction is very important as it speaks to the underlying pedagogical philosophy. If school/national curricula are grounded in a constructivist view of education and if they value creativity, then a cMOOC approach, with an emphasis on the creation, sharing and re-purposing of content, can be an ideal vehicle, and student work in such a cMOOC can be aligned with the development of their personal ePortfolio. On the other hand, if the prevailing paradigm is instruction, xMOOCs will be seen as a useful intervention.- jimdevine jimdevine Oct 23, 2013 - - helga helga Oct 26, 2013 - agree - Jean-Pierre.Berthet Jean-Pierre.Berthet Oct 31, 2013
  • As often with technology, inclusion comes as an afterthought. Universal Design for Learning principles of accessibility (eg multiple means of access and display/rendering) should be build into MOOCs from the start to enable people with disabilities to participate. In fact everyone benefits from UDL - and access to learning is a UN human right ratified by most countries. http://www.cast.org/udl/. - roger.blamire roger.blamire Oct 30, 2013

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on European schools education?

  • MOOCs for CPD- jimdevine jimdevine Oct 23, 2013
  • Language, culture and curriculum, legislation issues etc. will inhibit spread of cross-border MOOCs for school age students in Europe. But could increasingly feature in some young people's learning, eg those unable to attend school for various reasons, takeup (of university level MOOCs) by ambitious, gifted, pushed (by parents) children, special interest / minority subject MOOCs (eg psychology, law) that schools cannot provide. - roger.blamire roger.blamire Oct 30, 2013
  • This technology could be used in schools in two ways. Firstly, it could allow a few high-achieving students who have reached the end of the school syllabus in a subject to study further, anticipating their studies at university. Secondly, it would enable students to study a subject which was not part of the school syllabus, for example astronomy. - paul paul Nov 3, 2013

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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