Personal tools

Massive Open Online Courses

From University Innovation

Jump to: navigation, search



Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) is a way to make knowledge and information available to anyone. Like the name implies, they are free courses available online, they are open to anyone which generally makes them massive, they do not count for credit, and they provide a way for people to not only access course information and materials (such as documents, videos, and exercises) but also to participate and interact with the facilitators and other participants. Due to the nature of the course, it is up to the students to decide how much they actually learn. These courses are offered by many universities and organizations and the topics covered range across all disciplines.


1. MOOC use technology to teach information in new and innovative ways that may not be available in regular classroom settings. 

2. Students can educate themselves about topics not available to them at their universities.

3. Students can gain knowledge and skills that may not be directly relevant to their studies.

4. A stress-free way to learn; no need to worry about grades and payments.

5. Due to the overwhelming amount of classes now available, there is a class available on almost any topic or subject. 

6. They are all available to you now anywhere with internet access! 

MOOC Sites

Stanford Online

“Stanford Online offers a variety of professional education opportunities in conjunction with many of the University’s schools and departments. We also offer an array of free online courses taught by Stanford faculty to lifelong learners worldwide.”


“Today, 2 million students in 190+ countries are taking online courses on Udemy. They’re learning Programming, Yoga, Design, Photography, Spanish, Marketing, Guitar, Finance, Cake Decorating, and so much more. More than 12,000 courses (in 10 different languages!) have been published in our marketplace. Each course is designed & taught by an expert instructor and hundreds of new courses are published every month.”

iTunes U

"The free iTunes U app gives you access to the world's largest online catalog of free education content from leading institutions -- on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch."


"webcast.berkeley is UC Berkeley's central service for online video & audio for students and learners around the globe."

MIT Open Courseware 

"Through OCW, educators improve courses and curricula, making their schools more effective; students find additional resources to help them succeed; and independent learners enrich their lives and use the content to tackle some of our world’s most difficult challenges, including sustainable development, climate change, and cancer eradication."

Duke University

Duke courses available on iTunes U. "Learn with Duke. Any time. Anywhere."

Harvard Open Courses

"Videos for the following free Harvard courses are made available by the Harvard Extension School's Open Learning Initiative. Featuring Harvard faculty, the noncredit courses are open to the public. You do not need to register to view the lecture videos."

UCLA Extension

"As one of the nation’s oldest, largest, and most comprehensive continuing higher education providers, UCLA Extension gives you all the options and wide range of courses you need."

Open Yale

"Open Yale Courses provides free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University. The aim of the project is to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn."

Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative

"The Open Learning Initiative offers online courses to anyone who wants to learn or teach. Our aim is to combine open, high-quality courses, continuous feedback, and research to improve learning and transform higher education."


"EdX offers interactive online classes and MOOCs from the world's best universities. Online courses from MITx, HarvardX, BerkeleyX, UTx and many other universities. Topics include biology, business, chemistry, computer science, economics, finance, electronics, engineering, food and nutrition, history, humanities, law, literature, math, medicine, music, philosophy, physics, science, statistics and more. EdX is a non-profit online initiative created by founding partners Harvard and MIT."


""MOOC List" is an aggregator (directory) of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) from different providers." 

...and many more!

Stanford Online

Stanford Online, a great resource for MOOCs, has particularly relevant course offerings on innovation and creativity. 

Design Thinking Action Lab

In this experiential course - free and open to all - you will learn the design thinking process by tackling a real world innovation challenge. As preparation for each stage of the challenge, you will explore the main design thinking concepts through short videos, each paired with brief activities to practice relevant methods and approaches. There will be one weekly assignment reporting on your progress, as well as weekly Google hangouts with the instructor. On the last week of the course, you will apply the process to your own context and challenges, while hearing from experts who use design thinking to innovate in differents fields, such as healthcare and education.


This crash course is designed to explore several factors that stimulate and inhibit creativity in individuals, teams, and organizations. In each session we will focus on a different variable related to creativity, such as framing problems, challenging assumptions, and creative teams. This Spring, course professor Tina Seelig, author of inGenius: A Crash Course in Creativty, has teamed up with Warner Brothers Music to explore creativity in music. The new course, Creativity: Music to My Ears, starts on April 2nd, 2014 and runs for 6 weeks. University Innovation Fellows interested in convening students in a 'book club'-like weekly meeting should seek 15 students on their campus who commit to exploring creativity together using a weekly in-person discussion group format. A one-credit offering is available in select schools. Sign up your schools to participate in the pilot here.


Contact information specific to course platforms:

Stanford OpenEdX:



General questions:


Still confused about MOOCs? Watch this great short video written and narrated by Dave Cormier.