What the heck is a MOOC?

If you’ve been reading my posts, you’ll know that I used to play Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs, or just MMO’s).  But what in the heck is a MOOC?

I was first introduced to the term last October, immediately following the course I’d taken on course design.  One of my fellow learners was a guest blogger on a corporate blog the following week.  The topic was MOOCs.

MOOC stands for Massively Open Online Course, and they are the latest trend in education.  I’ve already written about participant centered training, and, on the surface, the MOOC would be the ultimate in PCT.

Here’s another fun view of what a MOOC is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eW3gMGqcZQc

By and large, MOOCs are free, and consist primarily of presentations on weekly topics, usually delivered via Webinar, and supplemented by social media (FaceBook, Twitter, etc.), but participants are expected to make the course their own and take charge of their own learning: researching, Googling, diving into the deep end.  Reporting these efforts could be done via discussion groups and blogs.

The learning material is aggregated by the learning community and made available on a Web page or other central point of online distribution.  The link to Wikipedia (above) will provide more information regarding MOOCs and some examples, including Change.MOOC.ca, the MOOC that my colleague was participating in this past year.

I’ve been following her since on her learning blog: Connecting the Dots.

By the time I found out about MOOCs and Change.MOOC.ca, several weeks and learning topics had already elapsed.  I have a personal preference for beginning at the beginning and work demands are such that I would feel extremely uncomfortable putting myself into the MOOC arena now.

I can always look forward to participating in one next year.

Some other thoughts on MOOCs:

Does the idea of a MOOC interest you?