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MOOCs and SPOCs

Hybrid learning that combines a MOOC and traditional classroom teaching abridges learning time by half.

AMOOC, or Massive Open Online Course is an open, free web-based course. Anyone from anywhere in the world who wishes to learn can enroll in a course. Each course typically consists of short video lessons, with a subject expert teaching with the help of models, images, animation and video.

Source: Massive Open Online Courses, aka MOOCs, Transform Higher Education and Science, M. Mitchell Waldrop and Nature magazine

The course includes online tests and assignments that are automatically graded or evaluated by peers and teaching assistants. On successful completion of the course, the student is awarded an electronic certificate of completion by the MOOC provider. These providers can be colleges, private educational companies, even individuals. SPOC, Small Private Online Course is a hybrid version of the MOOC. Applicants go through a selection process, and the course which includes fees and course credits is more customized to a smaller number of students.

WUC aims to develop innovative, hybrid, open learning systems and more effective models that extend the reach of quality higher education to people of all age groups globally.

  • MOOCs can address the shortage of faculty and infrastructure in places where demand for college education far exceeds supply.
  • E-book readers, computers, phone, tablets and phablets make on-line knowledge dissemination easier, more effective and affordable.
  • MOOCs cover a wide range of subjects in science, arts and humanities.
  • MOOCs are not for credit, and do not award degrees that are officially recognized by universities.
  • Some MOOC providers facilitate a proctored examination at the end of the course, and provide degrees for a fee.
  • Colleges collaborate with private MOOC providers and allow their students to take some courses online.
  • Hybrid learning that combines a MOOC and traditional classroom teaching abridges learning time by half.
  • The flipped classroom model, where students learn from MOOCs and the classroom is used for discussion and review, shows better learning outcomes.

Specific MOOCs

  • EdX is a collaboration of Harvard University, MIT and over 25 other international universities that provide their courses under a single platform.
  • Udacity allows its students to take a proctored final exam for a fee in an effort to allow Udacity classes to count towards a credential that is recognized by employers.
  • Coursera has developed a network of translators who are making the materials in some courses available in various languages including Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese and Russian.
  • The Khan Academy reaches about 10,000,000 students per month and has delivered over 300,000,000 lessons.
  • Partners in 11 countries have jointly launched OpenupEd.eu, the first pan-European MOOCs initiative, with the support of the European Commission. It offers courses in 12 languages.
  • Some of the other major MOOC providers are:

    • iversity
    • ALISON
    • Canvas Network
    • OpenLearning
    • Academic Earth
    • FutureLearn
    • Peer to Peer University
    • Saylor.org
    • Udemy

Note - Credit for moocs.jpg is 'Image: Courtesy of Nature magazine'; Credit for 2a.png is '“Major Players in the MOOC Universe,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, http://chronicle.com/article/Major-Players-inthe-MOOC/138817/ Copyright 2013 The Chronicle of Higher Education.'