MOOCs are all the rage; everyone is talking about them inside and outside of higher education. The best part is that anyone with Internet access can learn about anything on offer for free. It is no exaggeration that they are transforming education. Having recently completed the 30 postgraduate credit Teaching and Learning in a Digital Age (TELEDA) course at the University led by self-proclaimed ‘digital soapbox’ Sue Watling, an activity which made me think a lot deeper about online learning, I am aware that it is still getting me to reflect upon distance education even after the course has finished. Indeed, distance learning enabled me to carry out the course in my spare time and even when I didn’t have any time but managed to pull something together!
First introduced in 2008, a massive open online course (MOOC /muːk/) is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web, which can include traditional course materials such as filmed lectures, readings, and problem sets. Some MOOCs provide interactive user forums to support community interactions between students, professors, and teaching assistants. To this end, I have raided Oonagh Monaghan’s EDEU: TELEDA libguide so you can watch an overview of MOOCs.