MOOCs: The what, the why and a little of the how


A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is a free course, designed and developed to be facilitated completely online and open to an unlimited number of participants from anywhere in the world.

There are different types of MOOCs such as xMOOCs and cMOOCs, and they vary hugely in terms of the length of time they run for, the amount of content provided, the opportunities provided for interaction and collaboration, who they are aimed at, whether certification of participation or attendance is provided or not, and whether or not they could be used subsequently for credit should any of the participants satisfy a specified set of criteria and register on a particular certified course. 

MOOCs are certainly a hot topic in higher education at the moment and there is much debate as to their value, and their future, in the sector (see a recent BBC Newsnight feature at )

Learning outcomes

At the end of this workshop you will:

  • know what a MOOC is
  • be aware of the differences between the different types of MOOCs
  • have an understanding of how to go about designing, developing and offering a MOOC
Who is this workshop suitable for?

This workshop is suitable for all academic staff.

Links to DIT Institutional Objectives

This workshop is considered to support the following DIT institutional objectives:

  • Develop and support teaching excellence
  • Develop key skills & competencies in students
  • Promote diversity of learning opportunities
  • Develop and support external and internal engagement
Any pre-requisites / advance preparation required?

No advance preparation is required.

Facilitated by?

This workshop may be facilitated by Frances Boylan, Kevin O'Rourke and other staff of the Learning, Teaching and Technology Centre.