The How to Create an Outstanding MOOC course from Curatr started this week, and I’m about to dive into it for the first time myself. Before I do, I thought I’d share some of the little insight I already have and some of the thoughts that I hope this online course might help me answer or think more deeply about.

What is a MOOC?

Of course there is the obligatory what is a MOOC question. At it’s most basic I would look at it as an online course where you draw upon resources from the internet that already exist and get a number of people commenting and contributing in some way. What the acronym means and how salient it is… well….

What’s in a name?

Craig Taylor works for Curatr and recorded a video blog about the average L&D team member not being interested in the “massive” part of a MOOC as it might not have so many people attending; or the “open” part as it might need to be internal for a variety of reasons; Craig does focus on the “online” element about curating different content and using simple game mechanics for engagement with content and people. He also focuses on the “social learning experience” of the course, which is where a lot of companies are either investing their time in, or are at least starting to acknowledge.

MOOC or just an online course?

I think Craig makes excellent points about the name. In my experience the name and label of “Massive Open Online Course” really puts a lot of decision makers in organisations off of the idea. At the top end of the organisation I’ve had experiences where people just really don’t understand “all this MOOC business” and therefore shy away from it. Whenever I speak about the possibility of using this type of learning approach, I never use the word “MOOC”, I just talk about courses online. I also don’t talk about the “gamification” area much, as, again, at the top end of the decision making structure my experience is that it’s one of whimsy. Therefore I talk more about inclusion and engagement.

Questions, questions…

What I hope to get out of investing my time are several different things:

  1. Delving further into developing an “outstanding course” online to include the right materials, structure and social elements for what I might need to achieve for my clients
  2. To use the Curatr platform to create a course of my own, which is part of the learning experience. Having attended Curatr courses before, I already love the platform – however things have been improved, I might use it for clients at a later date, and the experience here I want to be able to transfer to other platforms that my clients might dictate
  3. To work with Craig Taylor, Sam Burrough and Martin Couzins, all of whom I’m worked with a little in the past and think are passionate experts in their field. And if a tiny bit of that rubs off on to me, it won’t be a bad thing!


  1. You are soooooo right Jo – MOOCS have been around since Moses was a boy and all we are doing is re-badging / repackaging them. Let’s move away from the term, focus on the outcome they are intending to deliver / or problem they are intending to address – time to dump the word “MOOC” and stick to what we know best – Learning !

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