What is a MOOC?

MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Courses and are aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. I found interest in a site offering MOOC courses called Coursera. Coursera was founded in 2012 and as of May, 2015 had over 1000 courses from 119 institutions and over 13 million users (Coursera, 2015). I chose the course called Smartphone Emerging Technologies. I experienced no issues starting the course. As the course began, it prompted me to create an account with a user name and password and after I submitted, the course continued from where it left off. I found the video very engaging as the lesson started off with an overview of the course with the instructor presenting in frame on the left side of the green screen slide as text would populate to his right. The main page of the course listed the different sections or modules to be completed along with sub-topics for each and showed the completion progress as I went along. After the overview, the course syllabus was presented in a text format with hyperlinks for additional reading. The syllabus included prerequisites, course goals and objectives, links to course materials, the course outline, a description of the course elements such as lecture videos, in-video questions, quizzes, readings as well as information on the peer assessed capstone project. Even though the course is free to take for your own personal enrichment, if you wanted to receive credit and proof of completion for college credit or for employer purposes, a verified certificate is available for a fee. In each module I completed, there were assessment questions, a review and a list of references for further reading as an option. This self-paced asynchronous course was designed to be taken by any student, in any place pursuing education in a different-time, different-place (DT-DP) scenario as describe by Dan Coldeway from South Dakota State University (Simonson et al., 2015, p. 9). With the abundant number of institutions that are partnering with Coursera, this asynchronous course could also be a blended or hybrid course for students at the institution’s campus for supplemental learning along with the face-to-face instruction (Simonson et al., 2015, p. 106-107). What I enjoyed most about the course was seeing the instructor in the video presenting. Keegan (1996) noted that distance education must offer “the provision of two-way communication so that the student may benefit from or even initiate dialog” (p. 44). This gave me more of a “connected” feeling to the information being presented and to the instructor that offered a means of communicating with him regarding content or advances in the field what would prompt an update to what was being presented. Overall, I enjoyed the instruction and felt it was a well-designed student-centered course.


Corsera. (2015). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coursera

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., & Zvacek, S. (2015). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (6th ed.)