Massive open online course

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Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are an emergent educational platform which deliver content online and are made freely available to anyone wishing to take them. Dave Cormier reports having devised the acronym, MOOC, to describe "a free course, that has a beginning and end date, which is open to everyone — irrespective of their level of education" [1] during an online chat with George Siemens in 2008.[2] In order to receive accreditation for taking a MOOC, however, a student may need to pay a fee or be registered with a traditional educational institution such as a college. Well known MOOC platforms are edX[3] from MIT, Coursera,[4] and uDacity.[5] There are also MOOC platforms not sponsored by traditional educational institutions or commercial interests such as P2PU[6] or School of Data.[7]


Candadian scholars George Siemens and Stephen Downes, proponents of the educational learning theory Connectivism, made key contributions and facilitated some of the first MOOCs.[1] Alec Couros and Leigh Blackall are also credited with having played an important role during formative conversations in planning for what is considered to have been the first massive open online course, Connectivism and Connective Knowledge, first offered by Siemens and Downes in 2008. [2]