History of MOOC

The term MOOC is said to be mentioned by two separate individuals: Bryan Alexander (http://infocult.typepad.com/infocult/2008/07/connectivism-course-draws-night-or-behold-the-mooc.html) and Dave Cormier (http://davecormier.com/edblog/2008/10/02/the-cck08-mooc-connectivism-course-14-way/) and this label was loosely posted to a course (CCK08) which was organized by George Siemens and Stephen Downes (who btw has an incredibly interesting educational newsfeed called Ol’daily to which you can subscribe). The CCK08 or Connectivism and Connective Knowledge was a fully open course that could be followed online and for free (there was also a paid, certified option). The idea behind the title of this course is important as it derives from the Connectivism theory which (paraphrasing heavily here) says that learning/training in this era will be successful if we learn how to connect and build relevant networks. This idea of connecting to each other to construct knowledge is one of the key dynamics of a MOOC.

If you want to read up on the subject of MOOC’s or Connectivism, have a look at the references page of this guide.

After this first CCK course several other courses followed: CCK09, PLENK2010, CCK11, LAK11 (Learning Analytics and Knowledge)… but as with all great things, these courses did not emerge out of the blue. The MOOCs were following the trend of Open Education movement described by Iiyoshi and Kumar (2008). The open educational movement focused on open technology, open content and open knowledge. The MOOCs have given rise to a more specific focus on the actual human networking factor within these open courses. Open Online Courses (OOCs) “are live courses, which include direct participation of teachers and rich and valuable interaction among participants” (Fini, 2008, p. 3). This shift from technology to the participant is an interesting one as it coincides with the research focus shift from (mobile) technology to sociology, pedagogy…

Dave Cormier has recorded some great movies describing both what MOOC’s are and how they function. The movies are short and enlightening.

What is a MOOC?

Success in a MOOC