What’s the Scoop on MOOC?


In the wave of MOOCs (Massive open online courses) that are slowly making their presence known, it is important that the organizations do not lose sight of their original missions which all fall under the umbrella of providing increased access and learning opportunities in the name of equitable education for everyone. The largest MOOC provider is Coursera, providing 100, 000 + course offerings from 100+ affiliated universities (Symonds, 2013).  A student reported her experience with the program and noted two problems: the lack of meaningful interaction and the excessive plagiarism. The auditing professor constantly posted citation warnings which highlighted the gap in academic integrity for massive amounts of learners with no prior understanding or experience with this critical aspect. In spite of these pervasive problems, the benefits of open courseware will outweigh the negatives in the long run, which work towards increasing access to knowledge and transforming lives. Here are a couple of standouts in their efforts to contribute to his end.

Enviromental Science

Curriki OER for K-12 springs from the mission to promote technology as a fundamental player in bridging gaps in educational and economic divides. The difference with this resource is the wiki formula of content contribution that collaborates students, teachers, parents and content creators. They facilitate a best of strategy to cultivate continuous improvement in the quality of its learning resources and contributors that has expanded access to mobile devices which is really how the new generation is learning. It serves a community of 9 million glocals or globally dispersed learners in 193 countries and growing (Curriki, 2013) with locally bred chapters on the rise: Curriki Finland and Curriki Japan. Resources are aligned by content and by state standards following Academic Benchmarks for efficient digital deployment which can be rated internally via a star rating and shared externally via social networking sites.  They address a range of study topics at all levels including languages.  Educators will find this a handy resource for fresh approaches—it has brought new life into my grammar and ESL curriculum.

nroc_banner_leftThe National Repository of Online Courses (NROC) non-profit OER, funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Content is collaborated by a community of content developers from US academic institutions. This library of resources is quality ensured to meet “high standards of scholarship, instructional value, and presentational impact” (NROC, 2013).  Learner access to the growing repository of learning content is free, but institutional fees are required for broader content use. For this fee, organizations receive cross-disciplinary content, access to multi-modal teaching resources including white papers, conference presentations and domain specific forums for networking and resource sharing.

social sciences

This is an excellent source for higher learning at the high school, college and advanced placement levels.  I zoned in on the social statistics courses which are a love-hate subject for me. This is a way to initiate deeper learning in areas which may be of practical application in my future professional and academic research domains.



Academic Benchmarks (2002-2013). Common standards initiative. http://www.academicbenchmarks.com/

Choudaha, R., (2012) – MOOCs, BlackBerry’s lesson for higher education. October 2012 Issue No: 242. http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20121003103557921

NROC (2013). National repository of online courses. http://www.montereyinstitute.org/nroc/index.html

Quacquarelli Symonds Limited (1994-2013). How Edx will revolutionize online learning. http://www.topuniversities.com/student-info/distance-learning/moocs-future-higher-education