MOOCs are here!

LAST week I enrolled in a MOOC. Yes, a MOOC. I have heard about MOOCs in the past, but this is the first time I am actively participating in one.

But let me first explain what it is.

MOOC is the abbreviation for Massive Open Online Course.

It is an online course usually presented by an established university, which is open for anybody to take part in free of charge. The one that I am taking part in is presented by the Oxford Brookes University with the title First Steps into Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (http://vle.openbrookes.net/).

The course spans several weeks and you can either participate or receive certification, or you can just participate to gain new knowledge. The main aim of the MOOC is for everybody to contribute their knowledge through reflection, the gathering and sharing of information and online discussion.

MOOCs can easily be created and maintained by one or two teachers or lecturers at an institution. All you need is interest in a subject, a structure of what is to be learned, some content and the participants will bring the rest.

All you as an instructor or teacher will need to do, is guide the discussion and the participation. The learning will take place when all the participants start to contribute and reflect.

I know this is a very academic column, but with so many schools and academic institutions in the area, I am sure I’ll give someone an idea or two for future training.

To explain it even better, I have loaded a video clip on www.nicobaird.com which will visually show you exactly what MOOCs are.