What is a MOOC?
MOOCs - massive open online courses - are online courses open to anyone who wishes to learn. Organized fully online, they don't require any on-campus meeting and provide a flexible organization of the learning schedule.
Who can sign up to a MOOC?
Anyone who wishes to learn! No matter how old, being graduated or not, geographical location… It only requires to subscribe to the website of the MOOC organization. No administrative registration at university is needed, no tuition fees nor admission criteria… That’s the main idea behind one of the O (open) of the MOOC concept.
Is it really free? I heard some certificates have a cost
The spirit of the MOOC is that it’s free. However, some paying options may be proposed in addition to the course itself (delivery of an evidence of achievement (certificate), verification of the learner’s identity, personalized tutoring, a proctored exam on campus...).
What is the value of the certificate I can get in a MOOC? Is it a diploma?
In most cases, no, the MOOC doesn’t deliver diploma nor Higher Education credits worthwhile as a regular on-campus course. The value of the certificate is symbolic: it shows your hard work during the learning process and your success in the exercises and exam. The certificate can be valued to an employer as an indicator of your willingness to self train and self-discipline to learn online.
However... Since January 2017, some universities - UCLouvain amongst them! - have launched MicroMasters programs. Those are set of coordinated MOOCs allowing deep learning in a particular field and giving a pathway to Master's degree on campus.
See an example of MOOC?
Have a look on the Demo course on edx.org, our MOOC partner.