Note in progress Last updated October 26, 2021


  • Massively open online courses were popularized in the late [[2000s]] and tasked themselves with taking on the challenge of how to get course content online. They promised to democratize learning by digitizing and distributing content on the Internet.

  • There were a few problems with MOOCs:

    • They had dismal completion rates, at around 3 to 6 percent.
    • They lacked structures required for any instruction deeper than simple [[Knowledge Transfer]].
      • Research shows that students comprehend and retain more information through interaction with others over the content.
      • Many disciplines one might want to learn require an element of spontaneity or emergence that gives the course its character. (This would later be the problem tackled by online [[Cohort-Based Learning]])
      • They lacked proper incentive and reward systems. Without a sense of urgency or timeliness, students struggled to progress through course content. And without the dynamic human interaction necessary for learning, the form of their reward systems did not fit the context of the students' goals.
    • They were unable to reliably create successful learning environments for many domains.
  • MOOCs ultimately had little impact on the state of online pedagogy, but it did create a market for course distribution systems, which before long were in need of innovation. Along came [[Course Marketplaces]], which introduced the ability for anyone to list a course and offer it for sale on the Internet.