Browse Definitions:
Definition

massive open online course (MOOC)

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A massive open online course (MOOC) is a free Web-based distance learning program that is designed for the participation of large numbers of geographically dispersed students. 

A MOOC may be patterned on a college or university course or may be less structured. Although MOOCs don't always offer academic credits, they provide education that may enable certification, employment or further studies.

The word MOOC was coined in 2008 by Dave Cormier, from the University of Prince Edward Island for a course offered by the University of Manitoba, "Connectivism and Connective Knowledge." There were 25 tuition-paying students from university and 2,300 non-paying students from the general public who took the course online. There were RSS feeds for material and participation was facilitated through a variety of venues including Moodle (a learning management system), blog posts, Second Life and real-time online meetings.

In 2011, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) OpenCourseWare (OCW) became  the first large collections of MOOC resources made available by a university. In 2012, MIT and Harvard spearheaded the edX initiative for the promotion of MOOCs. 

The acronym MOC is pronounced with a long oo sound, to rhyme with kook rather than book. The Oxford online dictionary added the term (as "Mooc") in August 2013. 

 

See also: Khan Academy, distance learning, distributed learning, webinar, open and distance learning (ODL), virtual classroom

This was last updated in August 2013

Continue Reading About massive open online course (MOOC)

Join the conversation

2 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

I don't get

Cancel
I prefer Kaplan's definition of MOOCs: Open-access online course (i.e., without specific participation restrictions) that allows for unlimited (massive) participation. Source: Kaplan Andreas, Haenlein Michael (2016) Higher education and the digital revolution: About MOOCs, SPOCs, social media, and the Cookie Monster.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board)

    The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is a Congressionally-established nonprofit that assesses audits of public ...

  • cyborg anthropologist

    A cyborg anthropologist is an individual who studies the interaction between humans and technology, observing how technology can ...

  • RegTech

    RegTech, or regulatory technology, is a term used to describe technology that is used to help streamline the process of ...

SearchSecurity

  • Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

    The Advanced Encryption Standard, or AES, is a symmetric block cipher used by the U.S. government to protect classified ...

  • identity theft

    Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personally identifiable ...

  • spear phishing

    Spear phishing is an email-spoofing attack that targets a specific organization or individual, seeking unauthorized access to ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

SearchStorage

  • CIFS (Common Internet File System)

    CIFS (Common Internet File System) is a protocol that gained popularity around the year 2000, as vendors worked to establish an ...

  • GlusterFS (Gluster File System)

    GlusterFS (Gluster File System) is an open source distributed file system that can scale out in building-block fashion to store ...

  • virtual memory

    Virtual memory is a memory management capability of an OS that allows a computer to compensate for physical memory shortages by ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • Tier 0

    Tier 0 (tier zero) is a level of data storage that is faster, and perhaps more expensive, than any other level in the storage ...

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

  • SSD caching

    SSD caching, also known as flash caching, is the temporary storage of data on NAND flash memory chips in a solid-state drive so ...

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close