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MOOCs - Massive Open Online Courses: Overview of MOOCs

This LibGuide provides information relevant to various aspects covering MOOCs. Please also take a look at the LibGuide on Open Educational Resources


This subject guide serves as a point of departure in finding information on MOOCs as well as providing further avenues for self-exploration.

It is a work in progress as the contents will change as new resources are added or removed.   You are encouraged to make suggestions for content to be added or removed.

Please also take a look at the guide on Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Caution - before you start


Some linked material on this LibGuide may be subject to copyright and licensing restrictions. 

Please check and ensure that you obtain the necessary copyright permission, or apply the correct creative commons license where applicable. 

For further details go to the above tab Creative Commons Licenses  and also MOOCs and Copyright


Due to contractual and licensing agreements, access to some content may be restricted to the Unisa community. 

Inclusion in this LibGuide does not imply University or library endorsement of the ideas expressed.


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What is a MOOC ?

 The Oxford dictionary definition of a MOOC is:  "a course of study made available over the Intenet without charge to a very large number of people."

EDUCAUSE's  definition of a MOOC is: A massive open online course (MOOC) is a model for delivering learning content online to any person who wants to take a course, with no limit on attendance.

How//where did "MOOC" originate? provides a brief history of the MOOC. 

The following short-videoclips are also very informative:

7 things about using MOOCs from Educause

The following from Educause explains in a nutshell what you should know about using MOOCs


Origin of the term MOOC

Source for above image

The term "MOOC", normally pronounced moo-k, stands for Massive Open Online Courses and was coined by Dave Cormier (University of Prince Edward Island) in 2008. At the time, Cormier was attending the very first MOOC, a joint effort of Athabasca University and the National Research Council (Canada) called "Connectivism and Connective Knowledge".  

Getting up to speed with MOOCs

If you're new to MOOCs, the following will get you up to speed: