7 Things You Should Know About MOOC

EDUCAUSE's 7 Things You Should Know About MOOC describes massively open online courses (MOOC), a new format that has been tried by a few faculty to extend the reach of their courses. The MOOC are typically paired up with a smaller cohort that receives credit at the hosting institution, but the rest of the students benefit from joining a learning community that thrives on social media and student-to-student interaction. The MOOC has an obvious drawback in that for a certain kind of student, the loose affiliation and organization can lead to dissatisfaction. Also, some of the technical and logistical planning can be daunting.

Nevertheless, MOOC can generate significant buzz for the hosting institution, allowing many potential students to sample its courses. For example, Stanford University received significant media attention and sizable student interest when they announced in August 2011 that three of its most popular computer science courses would be available to anyone online and for free. As the EDUCAUSE white paper states, "the most significant contribution is the MOOC's potential to alter the relationship between learner and instructor and between academe and the wider community."