A Policy Brief on MOOCs
A MOOC (massive open online course) is an online course that normally requires no prior qualifications for entry, can be accessed by anyone who has an Internet connection, and includes large or very large numbers of learners (generally 1,000 or more); scalability is its distinguishing aspect. In addition, a learner must use a laptop or desktop computer, a tablet computer or a smartphone to gain access to a MOOC. To date, typical learners in a MOOC are individuals with an existing degree, often middle-class professionals. MOOC users also are often below 30 years of age. However, MOOCs have a wide reach, with different courses appealing to very different demographics.