Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Features and Platforms

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Features and Platforms

Abhishek Kumar (INFLIBNET Centre, India) and Shweta Nishad Brahmbhatt (INFLIBNET Centre, India)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5146-1.ch005
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This chapter aims to provide an up-to-date snapshot of the current state of application called MOOCs, which are one of the subset of e-Learning. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) provide a new way of learning, which is open, participatory, distributed and lifelong. Various premier universities of the world are now offering courses in the form of MOOCs. The MHRD, Government of India has also started a MOOCs platform called SWAYAM. This chapter covers the definition of MOOCs, its features and different MOOC platforms being used for e-learning i.e. edX, Coursera, SWAYAM, Udacity.
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The use of Internet and related technologies for development distribution and enhancement of learning resource called e-Learning. Web-based learning is sub-set of e-learning associated with learning materials delivered in a web browser, including when the materials are packaged on CD-ROM or other media disk in distance education Universities it is defined as a planned teaching/learning experience that uses a wide spectrum of technologies mainly Internet to reach learners at a distance. Lately in most Universities, e-learning is used to define a specific mode to attend a course or programs of study where the students rarely, if ever, attend face-to-face or for on-campus access to educational facilities, because they study on-line.

These days’ learners are well versed in the use of smartphones, text messaging and using the internet so participating in and running an online course has become a simple affair.

Figure 1, taken from Google, shows that every minutes ‘n’ numbers of users are accessing different internet based platform.

Figure 1.

Internet usage analysis


Demand for e- education in country is on rise. A few prime universities from different countries are offering online MOOC courses currently to improve educational standards all over the world.

In view of above, it is high time to explore all different dimensions of MOOC platform. Moreover, there should be a mechanism through which any learner can choose their platform which is suitable for learners.


Massive Open Online Courses (Moocs)

The acronym “MOOC” stands for Massive Open Online Courses. The word “massive” here means that there is no limit on the number of learners who can enroll in the course. The word “open” means that there are no mandatory requirements for the learner to enroll in this course. These courses are fully online and delivered through internet. These courses are highly multimedia enriched interactive online courses which offer a unique opportunity to the learners to learn these courses as per their convenience. The basic philosophy of MOOCs is 3A's i.e., Anytime, Anyone, Anywhere.

Figure 2 shows the typical learning work-flow in the MOOC environment. The course material consists of lecture videos, exercises, assignments, etc., which is divided weekly (generally). At the start of the week, all the study material for the current week opens for the learner.

Figure 2.

Work-flow in MOOC environment


The trends of MOOC in academic era is growing in current decade. One snapshot of google trends is given below. Figure 3 shows how learners are showing their interest in MOOC.

Figure 3.

Trends in increased usage of MOOC from 2004 to 2015

Source: Generated through Google trend.

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