Massive Open Online Course (MOOC): Learning Without Boundaries

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is an online course that allows users to participate in courses for free and without boundaries. MOOC were first introduced in 2008, by George Siemens and Stephen Downs. It is known as Connectivism and Connective Knowledge 2008 (CCK08) and was created as a credit course at the University of Manitoba. CCK08 has approximately 25 fee-paying students and approximately 2,200 other students taking the course for free.

In 2012, MOOCs gained popularity when Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig of Stanford University, offered an online course called Introduction to Artificial Intelligence. This course has approximately 1,600,000 students participating from 190 countries. After the success of Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, Thrun and Nrovig (2012) started Udacity, a business model for online knowledge sharing. Until now there are several platforms that offer Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), among them are Coursera, iversity, edX, Future Learn, Canvas Network, Open Learning, Academic Earth and others.

MOOC can be accessed by the users (students) through websites that offer unlimited participation. It is a model of delivering learning content online to anyone who wants to learn a course without limiting attendance. With that, MOOC is seen as a platform to encourage the sharing of ideas in the online teaching and learning process for students around the world.

By combining materials such as videos, e-Notes, reading materials, projects, assignments and others, it is making MOOC an interesting interaction platform for groups of instructors and users (students). With the widespread implementation of MOOCs, it increases the use of technology and also builds students with the nature of self-learning.

By using the MOOC platform, the online teaching and learning process is able to provide more interesting and open learning experience. The users (students) will be more focused on independent learning by sharing information and ideas between students from all over the world.

The objective of the MOOC development is to encourage interaction between users (students) and lecturers who use MOOC as one of the teaching and learning platforms. This interaction contributes to the collaboration and sharing of ideas related to a course studied. Among the components included in the MOOC are as follows:

  1. Ice Breaking – an activity in the MOOC that encourages the students to interact and get to know lecturers and groups of users in the same course. This activity closes the gap between users (students) and lecturers to create a more conducive online teaching and learning process.
  2. Learning Video – the teaching and learning videos shared by lecturers to enable students to learn a course independently.
  3. e-Notes – the notes used as reference materials and student guides to obtain more detailed information.
  4. Learning Activities/ Assessments – the activities or assessments provided to test or measure the users (students) understanding of a specific topic or the entire course.

EnVision UTM 2025 contains a forward-looking statement regarding the strategic efforts of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) for the next five years. There are five strategic cores stated in the UTM Vision 2025. One of the five strategic cores is Strategic Core 1 which aims for UTM citizen to become world-class holistic to expand the boundaries of education and research.

We need to focus on globalization in education to ensure a bright future. The MOOC learning approach gives students around the world the opportunity to take courses at UTM, without borders and at any time. This effort is one of the interesting sources of income generation for UTM.