Looking at Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) and Academia

I'm setting up a course to provide an introduction to using Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in academic settings that will be a meta-MOOC itself (a MOOC about MOOCs).

A MOOC is generally a course where the participants and the course materials are distributed across the web and the courses are "open" and offered at no cost to a very large number of participants who do not receive institutional credit.

I'm doing this for NJEDge.NET and the course will be offered via the Canvas Network.  Canvas is an open-source learning management system by Instructure Inc. It is released under the AGPLv3 license for use by anyone interested in learning more about or using learning management systems.

Canvas Network gives teachers, learners and institutions alike the place and platform to define the world of open online learning in a way that makes sense for everyone. It grows as teachers and learners apply it in individual ways and then share the results with the world.

Built on the same Canvas platform that millions already use to learn every day, Canvas Network will grow to be a gathering place for the open online courses, communities and collections that millions more will be able to use to evolve learning to meet their goals.
The course -which is more of a Conversation -  is set to launch in April 2013 and run for 4 weeks. It will be open and free to anyone interested. There are a number of courses being offered now at

One of the courses there is "Learning Analytics and Knowledge" taught by Dr. George Siemens, Associate Director of the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute at Athabasca University, where he leads the learning analytics research team. That course will run from February 11, 2013 to Apr 7, 2013. Siemensis  one of the earliest MOOC teachers, and the author of Knowing Knowledge (a Handbook of  Emerging Technologies for Learning and Knowing Knowledge).

"Academia and the MOOC" will briefly cover the history and development of MOOCs and it will engage participants in discussions of why institutions are offering these courses, and the possible benefits to both a school and to students. We will look at MOOCs from several perspectives: as an instructional designer building and supporting a course; as an instructor; as a student; as an institution offering the course.