Concurrent Session: Kristina Smith – Deconstructing a MOOC

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are a type of online course aimed at huge-scale participation and open access using the internet as the method of delivery. MOOCs are a fairly recent development in the area of distance education, consequently there is no commonly accepted definition of a MOOC.

Nevertheless, two key features seem prevalent:

  • Open access: MOOC participants do not need to be a registered student in a particular school to take MOOCs. Additionally, they are not required to pay a fee.
  • Scalability: Traditional courses depend upon a small ratio of students to teacher, but the ‘massive’ in MOOC indicates that the courses are designed to support an indefinite number of participants.

Kristina's reward for her sessionKristina highlighted her own journey into MOOCdom, noting the above factors when relaying the fact that her first course involved 80,000 students from around 150 different countries. She looked into the workings of a typical MOOc, how resources spring up via its participants to support and enhance the course contents, and looked at how they represent incredible opportunities for learning.

Kristina encouraged participation from the audience and facilitated a lively discussion among the session participants.

Adam Simpson for British Council Roving Reporters Team.


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