MOOC – massive open online course

Massive open online courses (MOOC) are web-based courses offered by various universities and colleges, worldwide. Some MOOCs use a free open access model with open licensing of content and structure while others are closed and may be free or paid courses.

Unlike a campus-only course, a MOOC uses documents, recorded video and other tools to deliver the course materials to an unlimited number of students (enrolled users) at any given time. There is no limit on attendance or prerequisite for enrolling in the online course.

MOOCs Improve On-Campus Courses

Some universities today use the technologies central to MOOCs on-campus. While the courses may be offered online, those attending the school can utilize tools such as the videos and interactive commenting to improve their own education. For example, a campus lecture can be broken into smaller videos online. Students who attended the lecture can review the videos online at a later date, spending a little or as much time as they need on each video segment.

MOOC and Course Completion Rates

Despite the positive reviews and adoption of MOOCs in universities, the downside to the online learning system is that very few people who enroll actually complete the course. Completion has been noted as low as 10 percent, as many registered participants explore the course topic rather than complete the course.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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