MOOC [en] (Massive Open Online Course) courses (Massive Open Online Course) are a kind of training –usually free– which aims to reach a very large number of students, and enable them to participate comfortably and flexibly, via the Internet, making it well-matched with their daily activities.
Precisely the use of New Technologies –the use of an Internet platform– is one of the main characteristics of this kind of training, fully developed as distance learning, without –in any case– a physical presence in a classroom; but creating an interactive community between students and teachers.
It makes easy the participation to a very large number of students, initially unlimited and, in any case, much higher than could attend a classroom course. Its effect is global, and almost universal keeping in mind that it’s possible to take part in these courses in initiatives organized in different points of the planet.
And always without losing the perspective that, even massive and online, MOOC are training initiatives, that is, they are perfectly structured and envisaged to the acquisition of relevant knowledge by students.
To do this, all the materials needed for appropriate learning must be accessible on the Internet and, additionally, it’s usual to do different tests to check the appropriate use of the course, although not directly obtains an official certificate that proves it.
The start-up of this kind of training is relatively recent. In fact, the term MOOC dates from 2008, and it is due toDave Cormier [en] and Bryan Alexander [en], George Siemens [en] (Universidad de Atabasca, Canadá) y Stephen Downes [en] Athabasca University, Canada) and Stephen Downes [en] (National Research Council of Canada), had 25 students enrolled in the traditional way, to those who joined more than 2,200 students via the Internet, for whom –moreover– was free.
The possibilities offered by this new training model didn’t pass unnoticed, and it spread quickly, resulting in a large number of platforms that, nowadays, offer MOOC courses to hundreds of thousands students.
And, if MOOC courses are relatively recent, they are even more those made in Spanish, which first initiative came in 2012: a course about the RSA cryptographic algorithm, led by Jorge Ramió [es] and Alfonso Muñoz [es] from the Polytechnic University of Madrid.
Coursera [en] (supported by prestigious universities such as Yale, Princeton, Michigan, …), edX [en] backed up by Harvard or Berkeley universities among others), or Miríada X [es] (Iversity [en], Udacity [en], Khan Academy [es], EduKart [en], …
So, today it’s possible to improve the training in areas as various as learning languages, history, economics or computers quite easily.
Written by Eurodesk Qualified Multiplier, Ayuntamiento de León