Module 1. Course Introduction

This module explains the setup of the course and intended expectations of course configuration.

This is an open course or a MOOC. MOOC is an initialism for "Massive Open Online Course" and refers to courses that are designed in such a way as to allow "unlimited participation and open access via the web" (Wikipedia, 2014).

This course is a MOOC, because it is open (i.e. participants do not need to login to view course materials or to participate in the course) and does not have a registration limit (i.e. anyone anywhere can participate online).

Using this Course

This course is largely self-directed, which means that you should feel free to go through the course at your own pace and to complete assignments on your own time schedule. However, we will also periodically have a live session, which will allow you to connect with the instructor, other students, and the guest online.

In live sessions, you should use the provided chatroom to ask questions of the speaker, discuss class topics, and interact with other students. If you must miss the session, a recording will be made available to you later.

Suggested due dates for assignments are provided in the course Calendar. Late work is generally accepted as long as it is submitted prior to the last day of the course. However, you will get the most out of the course by completing assignments on time, because this will allow you to interact with other learners as they are working on the same problems.


All participants in this course have the ability to earn the course badge upon successful completion of course assignments. Grading in this course is Badge/No Badge. All participants who complete all assignments according to directions and within the allotted time frame will receive the badge. Students who do not complete all assignments or who turn in assignments after the course closes will not receive the badge.

For those participants who also register for continuing education credit, a badge will translate into a Pass for the course, while failure to receive the badge will result in a Fail for the course.


MOOCs were envisioned to increase access to educational and informational resources and to allow anyone interested to participate in educational experiences.  In particular, MOOCs have the potential to benefit participants from underserved parts of the world by giving them opportunities for education that might otherwise not be available due to geographic location or cost.

In addition to access, MOOCs allow a diverse group of people to participate in the same course, thereby increasing the number of perspectives represented and allowing for participants to make novel connections with others.


MOOCs suffer from some of the same drawbacks that affect large courses and online courses generally, but the major concern is lack of connection and feeling alone. For this reason, it is essential when participating in a MOOC for you to take the initiative to talk to and engage with others, to ask questions, and to solicit feedback from your peers.

Since this is an open course, it is also expected that you will share your thoughts and work with others. If you have privacy concerns about doing this, you may also email coursework directly to the instructor. However, it is recommended that you share, because, after all, this is a course about open education!


To gain full benefit of the course (both during and after the course), you should join the Google+ Community Open Educators in K-12. We will use this community to share resources, ask questions, and connect with other educators.

Join the Google+ Community


Along with the Google+ Community, this course is equipped with a backchannel or chatroom, with a "Live Chat" popup window on the left side of the screen. Click on this link to open the chat window and say hello to other participants.  In this message, briefly (one sentence or less) introduce yourself and state the location you are participating from.

For example, you might say something like:

"Hello everyone! I am joining you from Moscow, ID, USA."

Example introduction

Learning Check

  1. What does "MOOC" stand for?
    1. Massive Open Online Course
    2. Multiple Open Online Curricula
    3. Multiple Online Open Courses
    4. Massive Online Open Curricula
  2. Which of the following is a benefit of a MOOC?
    1. Improving access
    2. Increasing diversity
    3. Allowing for new forms of networking between students, instructors, and others
    4. All of the above
  3. Which of the following is a drawback of a MOOC?
    1. They can only serve up to 50 students
    2. You must have a login to access them
    3. Students may feel alone or disconnected
    4. All of the above

  1. a - These courses are big, they're online, and they're open.
  2. d - Though many have become fixated on the "massive" part, at their heart, MOOCs are about openness, connection, access, and sharing.
  3. c - Because they are so large and many people do not know how to operate in them, it may lead participants to feel alone. So participate!

Recorded Event


Wikipedia. (2014). Massive open online course. Wikipedia: The free encyclopedia. Retrieved from