My Understanding of MOOCs

Posted by Bongani Khoza

“A MOOC is an online course with the option of free and open registration, a publicly shared curriculum, and open-ended outcomes” (McAuley, B. Stewart, G.  et al  2010:10) . according to Doug Clow there are different types of MOOCs and he elaborates on two types of MOOCs namely (cMOOCs) and (xMOOCs) but in his blog titled MOOC types: The xMOOC, cMOOC, and rMOOC. Frederick  Mudavanhu unpacks a third kind of MOOC known as rMOOC. 

 MOOCs are growing substantially in numbers and with their growth MOOCs are increasingly being offered by academic institutions and by independent facilitators, where on some occasions academic institutions are working in conjunction with independent platform providers to offer MOOC courses to public.

To my understanding MOOCs offer an organic platform that allows both course instructors (subject matter expects) and students to learn, work and collaborate beyond a typical face to face classroom scenario both locally and internationally. Apart from MOOCs being able to offer courses at a significantly lower cost to learners, and the ability of students being able to attend a course from a different continent, amongst other benefits. MOOCs offer make use of the potential of streamlining learning processes in variety of ways, which include but are not limited to student engagement, where students watch videos, read, source and share online course material. MOOCs are also about how information disseminated to learners by subject matter expects is used by learners.

Posted by Bongani Khoza


July 20, 2015

7 responses on "My Understanding of MOOCs"

  1. Thanks Bongani for the introduction. Do you see a future for MOOCs and if you do, how do you see them evolving? If you don’t see their future, what do you think is going to bring them to an end?

  2. Interesting intro @bongani. In expansion to the topic, I see the benefit for the learner. In your opnion, what is the benefit for the MOOC provider (Institution or private provider). Surely, there must be something they intend to get…?

  3. I find it interesting that you said that it is being offered at a ‘significantly lower cost’. I know this course is for free and there might be other courses that are not THAT expensive but this is actually one of my concerns: the cost of some of the courses.

  4. I have noticed that some of the universities are starting to charge for their MOOCs (on platforms like Coursera & Udacity), do those types of MOOCs still qualify as MOOCs?

  5. Frederick, when I was busy with the last blog I was wondering about the question that you are asking – first I thought that MOOCs are only free courses. Then I started thinking about the acronym …. why can’t courses that you are charged for not also be MOOC’s.

  6. I think MOOCs are here to stay, but like cars soon will have too many good options to choose from, if they were not to survive, it would be as a result of companies not taking certificates obtained from MOOCs seriously.
    The early adopter institutions bear their soul out in the open, makes them more attractive to prospective students. Ultimately for the MOOC platform providers like Coursera, if they advocate for the democratization of education as free, yes its free to some point, but there is still a price to pay, and that price is monetary in essence.

    so far the MOOCs I have taken, you only pay for an accreditation certificate that says you completed the course, and or you can also get another certificate that says you also have completed the course and you participated in the various assessments, therefore, if you have fairly good internet access and and about R700.00 you can get a certificate of completion for a course. in the hope that you would be saving on textbooks, paying for notes, and travelling costs. but again cost saving is relative.

  7. Bongani, I don’t think the option of accreditation for these courses is available in South Africa. Frederick, do you know? Is there any attempt regarding accreditation for MOOCs courses?

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