MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course. MOOC is relatively new phenomenon as the first course carrying the name MOOC was offered in 2008. The term MOOC was coined by Dave Cormier and Bryan Alexander, when a course called “Connectivism and Connective Knowledge”, designed and led by George Siemens and Stephen Downes, attracted 25 fee-paying students on campus and 2,300 other students from general public who took the online class free of charge (Daniel, 2012). Even until today the definition of MOOC is keep evolving. The latest definition of MOOC is an online course aiming at large-scale participation and open access via the web. Typically MOOCs do not offer academic credit or charge tuition fees (Wikipedia, 2013).
MOOCs are divided into two branches, known as cMOOCs and xMOOCs. The two branches are so different, especially in aims and methods (Hill, 2012). Here we will focus particularly on the connectivist MOOCs or cMOOCs. McAuley, et al. (2010), defined cMOOCs by its characteristics as a MOOC integrates the connectivity of social networking, the facilitation of an acknowledged expert in a field of study, and a collection of freely online resources. Perhaps more importantly, however, a MOOC builds on the active engagement of several hundred to several thousand “students” who self-organize their participation according to learning goals, prior knowledge and skills, and common interests. One of the most recent cMOOC course is the “Learning Design for a 21st Century Curriculum” offered by Open Learning Design Studio or widely known as “OLDS MOOC”.
In this paper, I evaluate OLDS MOOC as an online course and investigate how it has incorporated the social pedagogical network theories i.e. connectivism, networked learning, and communities of practice. The evaluation was done by using Quality Online Course Initiative (QOCI) rubric and evaluation system developed by the Illinois Online Network (ION), University of Illinois.