Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are one of the most high-profile education and technology developments in recent years and have attracted a wealth of responses from researchers, educators, social commentators, and the media. In order to approach a comprehensive understanding of what the MOOC is, as this entry will try to do, it is not only a technological and pedagogical timeline of developments that has to be established, but also an insight into the ways these prominent courses have been described and understood in public discourse. This entry will therefore comprise three sections: early experimentations, mainstream platforms, and responses. These sections will outline the key individuals and organizations involved and the dominant channels through which MOOCs have developed, diverged, and become established.
Following the acronym, MOOCs might be classified as courses that are designed for large numbers of participants (“massive”), free to access (“open”), delivered...
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