Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are courses offered over the Internet to massive numbers of people, sometimes numbering in the tens of thousands. The term communicates both a sense of the mass scale of these courses and the technological platforms needed in order for them to function fully. The term was first applied to a course offered by the University of Manitoba in 2008. While MOOCs have taken hold within many higher education institutions, companies such as Coursera also offer MOOCs to members of the public who are not enrolled in a degree program but want to learn about a particular topic. This entry discusses the development of MOOCs, their characteristics, and some concerns about them.

MOOCs have their roots in distance and e-learning forms of ...

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