What are MOOCs about?

What is the basic idea behind MOOCs?

MOOCs were developed to make university courses accessible for everyone who’s interested and wants to join, regardless to where people reside or their financial capabilities. That’s why MOOCs are basically open and accessible for everyone. That premise is also the root of the name MOOC: Massive Open Online Course.
With time different MOOC models were developed, like the more university-scheduled xMOOC or the cMOOC, with looser structures and more user responsibility.
One big further advantage of a MOOC is the possibility to connect and network with people you might would have never seen or met in real life. So MOOCs can be a great place for networking as well.

Take a look at this little video by Dave Cormier about the development of MOOCs on Youtube:

Examples (How do MOOCs look like?)

Most MOOCs are basically free (of course there are some other examples where you have to pay to participate, but that’s not what the MOOC idea should be about). To get access to a MOOC you have to sign in (on most platforms) to see the contents of the MOOC. That’s why we list some interesting MOOC platforms and if you’re interested in their contents, you can sign in for free and find out more about their contents.


Coursera is the world’s leader in providing MOOC courses, with very big numbers of learners in the courses:


It’s basically free to join the courses, but Coursera has changed it’s business model and for now on, if you want a badge or a certificate for your course participation, you have to pay a fee (between 20 and up to 130 US-Dollar).
Browse through the catalog and take a look at the overview of the courses to get a feeling, how they are built, like this “Sports and Society” course:



This MOOC platform provides university courses from elite universities for free. Check it out:



This is an Austrian site, that provides a MOOC interface, called iMooX, where different educational contents are provided:



If you want to find out more about MOOC providers, just click through the list in the link below:


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