The MOOCs are among the most popular online training/courses platforms for students and professionals. How do they work? What are the different types of MOOCs and what are their characteristics ?
What is a MOOC ?
MOOC is the acronym for Massive Open Online Courses. Today, many universities and digital platforms offer online courses covering different thematic areas : IT, business , management, mathematics, etc.
The MOOCs are generally free of charge. However, some MOOCs includes a certification programme (issuing a certificate of achievement) and thus require a subscription to the service.
A MOOC meets several principles:
A MOOC allows geographically dispersed teachers and students to communicate .
Participants communicate in real time over the internet, mainly via videoconferencing, but also through other tools such as digital workspaces, forums, social networks, blogs, etc. .
A MOOC can either regroup a large number of participants or provide limited enrollment courses.
It is based on the use of free educational resources: documents, videos, questionnaires..etc
It is organized in sessions, usually over several weeks.
It includes various activities to assess the progression of each participants (workshops, group work, homework).
The different types of MOOCs
xMOOC: Definition and characteristics
The xMOOCs are based on a vertical teaching (directed or lecture-style). They aim to create the learning conditions of a classroom. They are mostly offered by universities. The objective of xMOOCs is to assess the skills of the participants: training is usually accompanied by a certificate of achievement .
The teaching course is clearly organized into objectives
it mobilizes a large number of participants
it is limited in time
assessment is often based on an automatic scoring.
The main xMooc platforms are:
cMOOC : Definition and characteristics
The cMOOCs are built on a collaborative principle where participants create content to a large extent. This type of online courses based on the concept of "open education".
Under a cMOOC, interactions with the teacher are minimal or nonexistent. Organizers/facilitators will however structure the discussions and content offered .
The general objectives of the course are set by the organizer of the cMOOC : the progression of the course however is not linear because of its participatory nature
Each student can contribute and become " teacher."
A cMOOC is entirely based on open educational resources.
Self-assessment of skills is vital .
A cMOOC brings together participants from diverse levels , which can complicate the learning progress .