Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
A massive open online course (MOOC) is a method for delivering educational content online. MOOCs enable students to take any class they wish free of charge. Students can take the courses at their leisure, but receive no credit or accreditation.
MOOCs feature reduced instructor contact, bigger class sizes and rely on self-organized learning on part of the student. These courses are intended to run fully automated with as little work for the instructors as possible. Student participation is partially voluntary.
Currently MOOCs are being offered in 22 U.S. higher education institutions. At the University of Arizona, currently two professors are providing MOOCs in Astronomy and Chemistry. As the demand for online content continues to grow and evolve, MOOCs may play a bigger role in teaching and learning pedagogies at higher education institutions across the US and around the world.
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