Frequently Asked Questions on MOOCs

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What are MOOCs?

MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. The idea behind the concept of MOOCs is that these are ‘Courses’, related to practically any topic, are offered ‘Online’, and are free and ‘Open’ for anyone to enroll into. So, an ideal MOOC would have unlimited number of enrolls, hence making it ‘Massive’!

What exactly is meant by Open Access?

Open access refers to the unrestricted provision of access to educational resources, free of cost. MOOC content is usually open for all, and there is no registration or fee required to enroll for one either. A web browser is all one requires to have Open Access.

Is there a limit on the number of participants in a MOOC?

No, there is no limit to the number of participants in a MOOC. A typical MOOC is designed to take on board millions of students and learners.

How can a teacher manage an unlimited number of learners?

The extensive use of technology for MOOCs makes them self-sufficient online courses. The design is such that the course module clearly instructs the learners what to do next. The teacher, however, is responsible for maintaining the levels of enthusiasm all through the course period.

What can a teacher teach in a MOOC?

There is a myriad of subjects that a teacher can choose from. From Science and Math to Moodle and English Language Training, MOOCs can be as interesting as possible.

What do you Need for a MOOC?

Just like any other online course, MOOCs too require a lot of investment in terms of time and thought. But once you get started, there will be no stopping you. Here is what you need:

1. A great idea for a course ( How to Fly like Superman)

2. A great plan (Plan A: Start a MOOC, tell the world about it, get 10,000 enrollments, and start teaching)

2. Lots of time for creating content (26 hours a day at least…kidding!)

3. A platform to host the MOOOC (eg. WizIQ)

4. A good social media shout out for getting the word out

5. A group of teachers you can rely on. (Although this is  optional, but this is plan B)

How long do MOOCs run?

A MOOC can run infinitely, which makes it a valuable undertaking for teachers as well as the learning community. Live classes, if any, may run for a limited time, and the same could be available as recordings for generations to come. This way, a MOOC could either die premature or live to be very old and mature.

What is so exciting about MOOCs?

The feeling of making a difference in the lives of millions of students all at once is an overwhelming feeling for online teachers. Think about all the learners in the world who can’t afford quality education. Think about all the aspirations remaining unfulfilled. One word to change all that: MOOC.

What is the future of teaching MOOCs?

MOOCs are definitely here to stay. And starting one now is not just prudent but a good way to establish credibility as an online teacher and explore new dimensions of education online.

What can WizIQ do to help teachers with MOOCs?

WizIQ Virtual Classroom has a USP, when it comes to MOOCs. Instead of uploading recorded lectures to the course content, teachers have a better option: take LIVE classes and record them for posterity.  Why is this better? One word: Interactivity, something that is missing in MOOCs of today.

What next?

Since I set a Google alert for 2013’s biggest buzzword ‘MOOC’, my inbox has been flooding with new alerts about MOOCs starting up, MOOCs being criticised, MOOCs being loved, MOOCs running for the president (ummm…not really!). From individual teachers to schools to colleges to IT companies, almost everyone has an opinion about MOOCs (Including me! Read my opinions about MOOCs and their sustainability).

But for a phenomenon that is still maturing, it would be too soon to come to any conclusions just yet. However, I would advise everyone to watch out for anything that comes MOOCing your way.

In my next post, we explore the reasons why WizIQ is the ideal platform for starting your first MOOC!

If you have a never-heard-before perspective towards MOOCs, I would love to hear it in comments below.

Cheers!

______________________________________________


Engineer by education, writer by choice. I believe when you write for a cause, you become the cause.

Comments

  1. Sylvia Guinan Says: August 19, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Brilliant image…!!!!

    We really needed such a clear-cut intelligent look at MOOCS – thank you so much Navleen.

    Rght now I’m writing content for my part of the ELT-T MOOC presentations – it takes time but I love it – these opportunities push us to explore our own creativity and passions even further – and I have seen ripple effects of inspiration sweeping through Jason’s ELT-T MOOC – Thanks to Fluency MC for his courage and vision!!!!!

  2. Sylvia Guinan Says: August 19, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Brilliant image…!!!!

    We really needed such a clear-cut intelligent look at MOOCS – thank you so much Navleen.

    Rght now I’m writing content for my part of the ELT-T MOOC presentations – it takes time but I love it – these opportunities push us to explore our own creativity and passions even further – and I have seen ripple effects of inspiration sweeping through Jason’s ELT-T MOOC – Thanks to Fluency MC for his courage and vision!!!!!

  3. Bob Clarke Says: August 18, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Wow, this is powerful, and so interesting. I am interested as a teacher of course. 5 years ago, I told my students one day that cell phones would soon have video conferencing / contact capabilities. Voila! Facetime and Skype. I also said virtual teaching is going to be common place and I see this as partial fulfillment of that. I wonder if public schools will go the way of the telegraph, and newspapers that are struggling?

  4. Bob Clarke Says: August 18, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Wow, this is powerful, and so interesting. I am interested as a teacher of course. 5 years ago, I told my students one day that cell phones would soon have video conferencing / contact capabilities. Voila! Facetime and Skype. I also said virtual teaching is going to be common place and I see this as partial fulfillment of that. I wonder if public schools will go the way of the telegraph, and newspapers that are struggling?

  5. Jason R Levine Says: August 18, 2013 at 12:28 am

    In 2013 online LEARNING is NO FLUKE; tear the DOORS off the CLASSROOMS; make WAY for the MOOCS!

  6. Jason R Levine Says: August 18, 2013 at 12:28 am

    In 2013 online LEARNING is NO FLUKE; tear the DOORS off the CLASSROOMS; make WAY for the MOOCS!

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