How to have your own MOOC using Google Course Builder

I am putting up another article on my blog after almost six months……….was caught up in many other works.

But in the meantime, I did many courses on edX, studied about MOOCs (massive open online courses) and was able to use the Google Course Builder to create my own MOOC (in the cloud)!!

That was an achievement, I was thrilled to do it………… and thought I’d share it with everyone.

The thought of creating my own on-line course occurred to me when my fellow course mate for the GEMs Art of Teaching course suggested so. I have never met Karina (a teacher in Mexico) but one of her very encouraging comments in the course forums got me thinking………………hmmmmmm surely I can try this!!

First, I wrote to edX, I did not know where to write so I said I am a business developer, and would like to create courses on edX. Someone from there politely wrote me back that (a) either I have to be their partner (I am not sure what criteria they have to choose them) or (b) I should visit and wait to hear more developments from that website’s forum and updates.

I have never heard from them, as yet. But while there I read through many links how Google and edX were going to merge, etc. From there I reached the Google Course Builder website (

Google Course Builder logo

And although I am not a developer, I read through many tech documents, watched YouTube videos many times to understand what was happening, as there are many versions of Google Course Builder, some say this and some say that………………..attended some Google live events, and was able to build my course……….as an app. It is also a MOOC. Used the Google App Launcher to put up my course!

Currently it seems to be free; you can upload your course on Google App Launcher using Google Course Builder 1.8.0. But a word of caution……………nothing with Google can be free! If the traffic to your MOOC is high (not sure of the number) or the course is too large (or even popular and successful) I am sure Google will try and monetize your efforts………….someday may be!

Anyone interested? Perhaps I can help you out!



Aside: On a live event I put up a question to Google if Google Course Builder and edX are merging together, to that the answer was NO. Which is good for me, as any merger may mean headaches for course owners and their students, isn’t it?

Also at a later date, I found a new course of edX – edX101 – Overview of Creating an edX course. I am not sure whom this course is for, may be after edX agrees to be your partner then the course may help you to go step-by-step to create content and upload to their platform.

For a person like me, who has created on-line courses for years on LMSes, I have my own templates and methods for session plans……… and now with the help of Google Course Builder, I’d say I am in business of creating MOOCs.


Learning with a MOOC vs. Learning on an LMS

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:



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.

Feature MOOC LMS
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.
Authoring tools None None
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