A MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course. It is a gathering of participants, of people willing to jointly exchange knowledge and experiences for each of them to build upon. As such it is within the hands of the participants and organizers of a MOOC to change it to their needs. This allows them to use the information and to construct their own ideas or projects.

A MOOC is by itself a non-defined pedagogical format to organize learning/teaching/training on a specific topic in a more informal collaborative way. This guide is meant to be a useful template that can be molded, and build upon as our joint knowledge on MOOC’s and new pedagogies grow. Feel free to add your insights to the guide.

This MOOC guide based on the experience of the MobiMOOC(ourse) which was a course that ran from 2 April until the 14 May 2011 and had 580 participants that hooked up to its resources. The course resulted in collaborations transcending the duration of the course. The course focused on the subject of mobile learning and was delivered over 6 weeks, each of which had a different angle: introduction to mLearning, mLearning planning, mLearning for development, leading edge mobile innovations, mLearning in a mobile connected society and mLearning in k12 settings.

The course allowed us all to connect no matter what our expertise, age or background. The collaborative effort transformed all of our ideas into new mLearning insights and resulted in some occasions in new, fullblown mLearning projects.

As this guide is a result of the MobiMOOC experience, there is a designated page for those who want to set up a Mobile MOOC, focusing on the mobile aspect of different sections of this guide.

moocsMadeSimple.jpgBe Warned!

The effect of a MOOC is not to be taken lightly! Many of the participants who went through a MOOC experience have had a powerful learning experience which in some cases resulted in strong personal or professional projects with impact. On the other hand the drop-out rate in a non-credited MOOC is high and some participants simply do not like the approach of a MOOC for it has specific dynamics. The diversity in appreciations and feelings is not new: the playground felt like a mental warzone to some and a great adventure to others.

(Another great cartoon by Nick D Kim: http://www.lab-initio.com/)

Want a quick and clear idea? Look at this great video of Dave Cormier and you will get an idea of MOOC's in less than 5 minutes.