What are MOOCs?

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MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses are academic or training courses open to an unlimited number of global participants through the internet.  First introduced in 2008 and later developed to its current form in 2012 by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  On this platform, students have access to filmed lectures, readings, problem tests and some provide interactive user forums.  Wits has chosen the edX platform over other popular platforms like Coursera and Udacity.  EdX differs from the other two as it is a non-profit organisation and runs on open-source software which allows copyright holders to share the software with others at no extra cost. Using edX, Wits joined a group of over 40 universities from all over the world including the University of Toronto, Boston University, University of Tokyo and Hong Kong University.

MOOCs are open to anyone with an access to the internet.  “Access to the internet and a computing device and sufficient time to complete the learning activities and course assessments will be required.  Requirements to register for other online courses will vary according to the course”, said Christine Woods, who is the director for the Centre for Learning, Teaching and Development (CLTD) at Wits.

To complete a WitsX MOOC, you need to go to WitsX website, onwww.edx.org/school/witsx, choose one out of the three courses that will be on offer this year, click “enrol now” and create their personal account.  Wits has said that students will need to allocate two to four hours per week over six weeks to complete the course.

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