MOOC: meaning and main platforms

MOOCs are massive and open online courses conducted on the internet independently, allowing for a continuous learning dynamic and democratization...
16 March 2023

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MOOC: meaning and main platforms

MOOCs are massive and open online courses conducted on the internet independently, allowing for a continuous learning dynamic and democratization of knowledge. 

This way of accessing learning has revolutionized teaching. Hence, universities and educational centers worldwide now use MOOCs to diversify their teaching offerings, improve student performance, and enhance their image to attract investors.

Whether you are a student or trainer or want to introduce this type of open knowledge into your company, knowing what MOOCs are and what platforms you can use to integrate them will interest you.

What are massive open online courses (MOOCs)?

MOOC stands for massive and open online courses offered by higher education or private centers that arise in response to the need for ongoing training through the internet from an increasing part of today’s society. 

Since their emergence, MOOCs have been developing and are now accessible means of acquiring valid and verifiable knowledge, defined by the acronym itself. 


MOOCs do not have a limit on the number of students, and anyone can attend regardless of their personal, professional, socioeconomic, educational profile, geographical location, etc. 

The offered topics provide added value, and therefore what causes someone to enroll in a MOOC. 


A MOOC is an open, free, autonomous, and freely available course requiring only internet access to access the learning environment. 



This type is entirely online, allowing for synchronous and asynchronous connections between students who can interact thanks to technology, creating massive, open, and connected learning communities that give feedback to each other. 


The course should be designed with autonomous learning in mind from an instructional point of view and should be adapted to the online medium with an active and open methodology. 

MOOC Courses: important considerations 

MOOCs are synonymous with independence in the learning process and offer the opportunity to meet people with common interests, allowing for the development of contact networks.

As a teacher, you can use this tool to share your knowledge and acquire or enhance your expertise by creating online teaching content. 

Student profile 

The MOOC student profile defines them as disciplined, self-motivated, organized, and goal-oriented. This contradicts the idea that the results of these students are worse than those obtained from face-to-face or paid courses. 

As you can see, these soft skills are increasingly in demand by companies. 

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Evaluation methods 

Evaluating massive courses requires the automation of some processes, although the strategy depends on the model. 

As a rule, a test-type evaluation system can be integrated through questionnaires provided by the platform itself. They are typical in xMOOCs that use a standard and formal evaluation system.

Another type of evaluation is performed in cMOOCs, a model based on completing online projects and work oriented to the student’s objectives. This methodology promotes creativity, autonomy, and learning in a dynamic without institutional restrictions.

What are massive open online courses?

7 quality MOOC platforms

MOOC platforms are technology solutions for education based on learning management systems (LMS) integrated into web environments through application programming interfaces (APIs).

Open edX

This is an open-source learning management system with which you can optimize your students’ results, who also have a forum to connect, collaborate, and work in the network to create a learning and exchange community. 


It is a great LMS platform that offers many possibilities for creating courses in different formats and provides students with tools such as chats, forums, wikis, and multimodal summative evaluations. 


This is a platform designed by Telefónica Educación Digital. It is open and free and allows you to create, edit, and impart your massive courses.

You can classify your courses according to different themes and explore all the possibilities of hypermedia through audio, video, forums, blog files, and even creating a wiki.

Google Open Online Education

In our list of LMS, we could not miss the platform supported by the creator of the first universal MOOC that provides the Google Course Builder tool with a series of free instruments, tutorials, and resources. 

To get the most out of its “course builder”, specific technical knowledge is required.

quality MOOC platforms


This intuitive tool used by multiple universities allows you to create participatory online courses in different formats, start interactive forums, and offer text notes.


This is another very versatile LMS with which you can create massive courses, perform automated classifications efficiently and multi-device, establish a results ranking, and ultimately offer a personalized solution to your students.

Open LMS

This is an intuitive open-source technology based on Moodle™ that allows you to develop MOOCs oriented to education or continuing education in workplace centers.

At Smowltech, we have designed proctoring products that integrate with the majority of the LMS on the market to offer you a secure evaluation supervision tool for your MOOCs:

  • We comply with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • We protect the privacy of your students.
  • We offer a user-friendly environment.

In addition, our proctoring solutions are scalable to respond to your needs flexibly.
Request a free demo and discover why we are leaders in remote monitoring solutions.

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