Review: Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)

Reading Time: 2 minutes. Enjoy!

Definitions of MOOC

  • A course of study made available over the Internet without charge to a very large number of people [1] [2].
  • MOOCs are courses designed for large numbers of participants, that can be accessed by anyone anywhere as long as they have an internet connection, are open to everyone without entry qualifications, and offer a full/complete course experience online for free [3].
  • MOOCs are online courses in which anyone, anywhere can participate, usually for free. They are made up of short video lectures combined with assignments, computer-graded tests and online discussion forums [4].


Categories and types of MOOC

  • There are numbers of categories and types defined currently. Differentiate by how the MOOC been used and view.
  • 2 types of MOOC [5];
    • xMOOC : content-based MOOCs
    • cMOOC: connectivist MOOCs
  • 8 MOOC categories taxonomy based on pedagogy [6];
    • transferMOOCs
    • madeMOOCs
    • synchMOOCs
    • asynchMOOCs
    • adaptiveMOOCs
    • groupMOOCs
    • connectivistMOOCS
    • miniMOOCSs


Common Characteristic of MOOC

  • All MOOC having the following characteristics [7]:
  • Autonomy – The structure is conceived to promote autonomous learning with a number of resources in the form of videos, links, documents, etc. and spaces for debate and communication.
  • Massive – The number of places on courses is unlimited, the scope is global and the courses are aimed at people with different interests and aspirations.
  • On line – To take these courses all you need is a computer, smartphone or tablet with internet connections and the use of a global web server (most platforms offer free apps). You can learn at home conveniently, flexibly and at your own pace.
  • Open and Free – The course materials are available on internet and are all completely free (some courses, few, offer free access to contents, but the assessments submission is possible only after buying a certificate). Students just have to register beforehand.


  • The 4 Characteristics Of MOOCs [8];
    • 1.Using Web Formats
    • 2.Collaborative Learning
    • 3.Assessing Knowledge
    • 4.Time Limits


MOOC consideration

    • Number of attendees.
    • Instructional strategy to be used.
    • Assessment type.
  • OPEN
    • Open content / Open registration.
    • Free of Charge.
    • Synchronous
    • Asynchronous
    • The pedagogy behind MOOCs.
    • Accreditation
    • Course Management and Tracking Issues.


  • Critiques MOOCs Have Received
    • Very low completion rates.
    • Low motivation.
    • Low perceived value compared to University Degrees.
    • Competition among MOOC providers and smaller academic institutions.
    • Education perceived as a product.
    • Localization issues.



  • Regardless type of MOOC, it need good technical setup to cater massive audience, content types and serve its purpose effectively.
  • To ensure MOOC is manage and maintain at the heist quality as it possible, feedback and information from the massive users are required.
  • This lead to the important of the analytic data collected and keep privately/openly.



[1] Online Oxford Dictionaries
[2] Google Dictionaries
[3] Definition Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Version 1.1 dated 12 March 2015.
[4] Hoy, M. B. (2014). MOOCs 101: An Introduction to Massive Open Online Courses. Medical Reference Services Quarterly, 33(1), 85-91. doi: 10.1080/02763869.2014.866490
[5] Types of mooc. Asma Alkhuzaimi.
[6] MOOCs: taxonomy of 8 types of MOOC.
[7] Features of a MOOC. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.
[8] What’s A MOOC? History, Principals, And Characteristics.
[9] What Is Wrong With MOOCs? Key Issues To Consider Before Launching Your First MOOC. eLearning Industry.