n. An online course open to anyone and designed to handle an extremely large number of students. [From the phrase massive open online course.]

Example Citations:
MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are the latest addition to the acronym-bound lexicon of higher education, and quite possibly the most significant of them all. They represent a new generation of online education, freely accessible on the internet and geared towards very large student numbers.
—Mike Boxall, "MOOCs: a massive opportunity for higher education, or digital hype?," The Guardian, August 8, 2012

I was asked by the excellent Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach to speak to her PLP class about MOOCs...We started talking about what it meant to have lots and lots of people learning together... Somewhere in there, I called them a massive open online course... For which I have been often chastised.
—Dave Cormier, "20 questions (and answers) about MOOCs," Dave's Educational Blog, July 31, 2012

Earliest Citation:
I thought about that story when I saw Dave Cormier's Connectivism Wiki or MOOC (Massive Online Open Courses).
—Beth Kanter, "Working Wikily: Establishing A Giving or Gifting Culture in Wiki Community," Beth's Blog: Nonprofits and Social Media, July 27, 2008

Education researcher Dave Cormier is the coiner of MOOC, but as far as I can tell no online cite is available for the first use. The earliest citation links to a website called Connectivism Wiki that probably has the first use, but alas that site has been taken down.

Related Words: