What are NPTEL and MOOC courses


1. Term: A MOOC, a Massive Open Online Course, is an internet-based course aimed at many participants ("massive": "huge, enormous"), open to everyone ("open") and usually free of charge. A distinction is made between xMOOCs ("x" for "extension"; Harvard University used this letter to draw attention to virtual courses in its directories) and cMOOCs ("c" for "connectivism").

2. Objectives and characteristics: There were precursors to MOOCs around the turn of the millennium. Universities in German-speaking countries are also experimenting with forms that integrate videos and slides and resemble today's xMOOCs. Massive open online courses reach people with different educational backgrounds. Tens of thousands of participants are enrolled in some courses. An xMOOC is more teacher-centered and formal, a cMOOC is more learner-centered, informal and committed to social media.

3. Providers and platforms: Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University are among the pioneers and references. Other universities have formed associations or supply professional platforms with their content. On these you can search for and book courses and exchange ideas. Some providers take the need for mobile learning into account.

4. Criticism and Outlook: MOOCs are easily accessible yet challenging learning environments. They are criticized because of didactic weaknesses and a sometimes high drop-out rate. It is also unclear what the certificates are worth, whether brands are damaged because of the massive and hardly controllable business and which business models ensure a high-quality and sustainable offer.