What's a MOOC?

I saw a video the idea which helped to explain the concept of a "MOOC."

What's a MOOC? Well, contrary to my first guess it is not the sound a cow makes when it has a frog caught in its throat. I'll try to explain below, but for some it might just be easier to watch the video here. Its hard to top it, especially when they've got lots of visuals to back up their description.

MOOC stands for "Massive Open Online Course," and the reason I found this fascinating is that it describes a way in which a person can harness the resources of the entire Internet for their education or training needs. Not only does a MOOC provide potential students with an easy and free way to broaden their expertise, but it allows them to learn the subject matter at their own pace and in whatever order they choose.

According to the video, a MOOC could actually be developed by someone who has knowledge or expertise they want to share, or I think it could be more of a method for someone to economically learn the things they need to learn. For example, as I was conducting a search for information about Quality Assurance testing, I happened across a website that contains tons of slides, videos, and other resources that I could download for free. Well, this has been a gold mine of information for me and I've already watched four videos. The videos are broken down into lessons, so I was able to watch the parts which forfilled my specific knowledge needs.

Am I participating in a MOOC? I couldn't tell you if the instructors were aware of this acronym when they put together these lessons, but I'm willing to bet that they were filling a need that was somewhat similar.

I was wondering if others had heard about this concept and, if so, what do you think about it? Is this something that could work? Have you particpated in this kind of learning methodology?

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