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Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is added to this resource as the recent development in the area of online learning carrying three key characteristics:
1) low cost or no cost,
2) open access and
3) large-scale participation.

MOOCs normally do not offer credits; however, some providers have started offering certificates. The term MOOC was coined by Dave Cornier at the University of Prince Edward Island and Bryan Alexander of the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education in 2008 referring to an open online course, Connectivism and Connective Knowledge, which was designed and led by George Siemens and Stephen Downs. MOOCs originated from within the open educational resources and in a short period of time MOOC-type projects such as Coursera, Udacity, and edX have emerged around the world. MOOC hit the spotlight when Sebastian Thrun from Stanford University offered a free Artificial Intelligence course attracting 160,000 learners from 190 nations in 2011 (Lewin, 2012[1]). It is envisaged that four major types of activities within MOOCs enhance learning: aggregation, relation, creation, and sharing (Kop, 2011).

MOOC is the new face of online learning for our learners in which they gain knowledge on how to learn, manage their time, find resources, find new tools, try new tools, and take their learning to the next step. The key for survival in MOOC is to connect and reconnect.
As Kop (2011)[2] explains, “a connectivist learner has to be fairly autonomous to be able to learn independently, away from educational institutions, and to be engaged in aggregating, relating, creating, and sharing activities.” While learners’ roles have changed in MOOC with more responsibilities around support and peer evaluation, new roles are also emerging for educators, such as those of curator, supporter of “repurposing” and “remixing” of information, moderator, provider of technical support, as well as “sharer” of esources (Kop, Fournier, and Mak, 2011)[3].

Creating an environment with scaffolding nurturing, offering a new pedagogy for learner support through created network, harnessing enrollment power for resource creation and sharing are among those that can improve the current online learning experience, particularly MOOC. For now, we need to emphasize the importance of responsibilities, collaboration, and peer evaluation in large classes by educating our learners in these concepts as well as building our online environments on these foundations.

Circle question.png Here are a few questions that you might want to consider before designing your MOOC:

1. Do you see offering MOOC's primarily as a public good, or as an opportunity to enhance your institution's position, or just an experiment?
2. Will your MOOC curriculum parallel the aims of your existing curriculum?
3. Can MOOC's fit into your institution's financial model?
4. Is MOOC align with your institution's goals and vision? In other words, is MOOC supported in your institution?
5. Does the experimental nature of MOOCs mean that you as the instructor/subject matter can be more free or innovative with their teaching?
6. Does your MOOC design team and instructor have online learning and teaching experience?
7. Do you want to offer a certificate for your MOOC? How will accreditation change the development of the MOOC experiment?
8. What is compelling about the learner experience in a MOOC? Discussion forums? Online community? Global connectivity? Self paced learning?
9. What strategies and practices are good for MOOC to promote self regulated learning and peer learning?

Below is a checklist developed for Massive Open Online Course Development (work in progress):

Checklist for Massive Open Online Course


  1. Lewin, T. (2012). Millions Enrolling in online Courses. The New York Times. Section: National. Pg. A-6
  2. Kop, R. (2011). The Challenges to Connectivist Learning on Open Online Networks: Learning Experiences during a Massive Open Online Course. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. 12(3). Available at:
  3. Kop, R., Fournier, H., and Mak, J. (2011). A Pedagogy of Abundance or a Pedagogy to Support Human Beings? Participant Support on Massive Open Online Courses. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. 12(7). Available at:


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