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 ?
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 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:
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 .