I love MOOCS, Massive Open Online Courses, and have signed up for two so far. One took place this past fall, and was called, The Current/Future State of Higher Education. It was all about, well, MOOCS; their explosion onto the scene of higher education, the reactions that various learning institutions are having to them, and musings about the direction in which they are headed. This was a very informative and interesting course that I thoroughly enjoyed. I took this course through Educause, one of several online platforms for open-access courses that are free to participants world-wide. Top universities around the world sponsor courses on a variety of topics, year-round on various platforms such as Educause. You can peruse this sight at http://www.educause.edu/library/massive-open-online-course-mooc.
The second MOOC that I have recently signed up for was through a platform called Coursera, and was called the Fundamentals of Online Education: Planning and Application. Courses offered through Coursera can be found at https://www.coursera.org/. In any case, the course in question was sponsored by the Georgia Institute of Technology. It was very promising at its onset: The first lecture was top-notch, the structure of the course seemed meticulously planned out, and the course promised to cover lots of areas related to the topic, complete with hands-on experience to be gained in a final group project. Alas, after a promising beginning, the course was called off due to problems that the sponsor was experiencing handling forty thousand plus students all at once. All of that planning called off due to a technical technicality of being just too “massive” of a MOOC.
So, while legions of folks enroll in these learning events, and institutions of higher learning continue to monitor the unfolding development of the phenomenon, there are still a few kinks to be worked out on the technical side of things, when catering to audiences of thousands per course.