MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) is a term coined based on an open class offered in 2008 by George Siemens, then at Athabasca University, and Stephen Downes of the Canadian National Research Council. The current popular incarnation became popular in 2012 through courses offered through Coursera, edX, and Udacity. George Siemens, who now runs the Learning, Innovation, and Networked Knowledge (LINK) lab at the University of Texas, Arlington, is co-teaching a MOOC , Data, Analytics, and Learning, with three other instructors, starting Oct. 20, 2014 on the edX platform.
Big data and analytics are a big trend these days, and many hold high promise for it in education. If we can measure what works in teaching and learning, and even personalize this to individual students, this could be a major advance in education. If you are interested, you can sign up to participate in the MOOC.
The instructors make it clear that the MOOC will follow more constructivist principles, allowing people to explore and create their own paths with the MOOC, in contrast to the strict syllabus-driven approach used by both MOOCs. It is nice to see the connection between the original MOOC founder and the popular manifestation of MOOCs represented by edX. Perhaps the way this MOOC is run will help spur new ideas on ways to use the current MOOC platforms. The founder may still have some thing to teach when it comes to how to run a MOOC.