To me, as a person seeped into the use of technology in education, I often wondered at the difference between various vocabs used in the eLearning space!
Web-based or computer based learning (or eLearning) is not a new phenomenon. All of us have used some form of tools used in a virtual learning environment at least sometimes in our lives. MOOC is a recent addition to this vocab – initially I thought a MOOC is something like an LMS, but it is NOT!
An LMS is software that automates the administration of training. The LMS registers users, tracks courses in a catalogue, records data from learners; and provides reports to management. An LMS is typically designed to handle courses by multiple publishers and providers. It usually doesn’t include its own authoring capabilities; instead, it focuses on managing courses created by a variety of other sources.
A MOOC on the other hand is an entire course. A MOOC is accessible, usually with no prerequisites, to anyone who wishes to enroll, usually for free, and with self-assessment or peer assessment along the way. It enables the possibility to teach over 100,000+ students at the same time in the same course.
From my experience, I can say that any new learning is imbibed better if there is a social component to the learning, and in future a MOOC will enhance this aspect of a learner’s ability – surely!
I would like to quote this: “I believe MOOCs are going to be an important – not to mention fascinating – social development…… “(Robert McGuire From: http://moocnewsandreviews.com)
Apparently, in the near future a teacher or a lecturer can have his or her own branded MOOC, like a website or a blog on a WordPress!
Here’s what I have collated from my own research on the net.
|Long Form||Massive Open Online Course||Learning Management System|
|What is it?||It is an entire course. It is NOT a platform.Massive: means may users can log in simultaneously
Open: means open to anyone in the world
|A platform where resources can be placed.Not massive – limitations in number of simultaneous users
Mostly not open to everyone.
|Examples||Courses on edX, Coursera, Udemy
Coursera, edX, Udemy are platforms – they are first and foremost a branded website promoting courses based on a Learning Management System (LMS).
|Moodle, Blackboard, Click2LearnLMS platforms provide a place for course creators to host their content and manage their learning environment (forums, quizzes, exams, peer to peer assessment, etc.)|
|Inclusion||MOOCs include LMS technology/architecture||An LMS is not a MOOC|
|Needs any standards?||HTML 5/MOOCdb?||AICC or SCORM for monitoring and reporting|
|When was it started?||In the late 2000’s||In the early 1960s|
|What do they do?||It is an open-ended course, not overtly managed.||It is a course management tool and hosts close-ended courses. Management and monitoring can be quite detailed, and programmed accordingly. Can be a bit intrusive.|
|Exam tools||YesLearning analytics can be programmed.||YesLearning analytics can be programmed.|
|Networked||More networked – blogs, tweets, wikis, etc.||Less networked – wikis, forums, etc.|
|Size||Large size – due to the availability of large servers and high internet speeds.Distributed and social learning. For knowledge networking, and life-long learning||Relatively small sizes – limitations and slowness due to connectivity.Some LMSs have facility for distributed learning.
Once the course is over, access to course is removed.
|Course Hosting||It is an entire course. It is NOT a platform.
Coursera, edX, Udemy are platforms which host a MOOC. These platforms provide a place for course creators to host their content and manage their learning environment (forums, quizzes, exams, peer to peer assessment, etc.)
|Many courses simultaneously can be hosted, from various providers and publishers. And a catalogue of courses may be offered to users to pick, choose and pay to start the course.|
|Credits||No, not yet||Some courses can have credits|