Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

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Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, are web-based courses open to the public for free and are designed for unlimited learner participation. It was first coined in 2008 by Professor Dave Cormier of the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada (Nova Southeastern University, n.d.). 

Pioneering the use of MOOCs in the country in July 2013, the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) offered its first MOOC—Introduction to Mobile Application Development Using Android Platform—which received Merit Awards in the PR Programs Merit on a Sustained Basis (Education/Literacy Category) at the 49th Anvil Awards held on 26 February 2014. The course aimed to equip students with the necessary skills and know-how to deploy android applications for android phones and tablets. It was developed and offered by the FICS in collaboration with SMART Communications, Inc. The university launched Fundamentals of Business Processing Management and Business Communication a year later.

The idea of offering MOOCs in UPOU materialized in 2011. More than accommodating thousands in enrollment, UPOU has emphasized the “openness” of these courses. Being more “open” has been reflected in UPOU’s practice of using only open educational resources (OERs), producing OERs, and employing open-access software in its MOOCs. As early as then, UPOU recognized the potential of MOOCs to reach a wider audience, to make education more open and accessible, and to promote lifelong learning. It has also been perceived to be capable of improving the quality of teaching and learning by fostering open educational practices (OEP).

Since then, UPOU has developed several MOOCs with the aim of making education more open and accessible, and promoting lifelong learning. Through its platform for MOOC, the Massive Open Distance e-Learning (MODeL), UPOU offers these courses as part of its thrust of making learning more accessible to more people. These courses have allowed UPOU to cater to career shifters, out-of-school youth, alternative learning system students, and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). UPOU’s MOOCs can be accessed through the MODeL site (

There are no requirements for admission to these courses. Anybody with internet access can go to its website and self-register for the courses on offer. Learners who meet the requirements of these courses receive certificates of completion. The courses are delivered on a platform also powered by Moodle under a CC-BY-NC-ND.

University of the Philippines Open University

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Philippines, Laguna

Twitter: @upouofficial

Contributed by: UP Open University Office of Public Affairs

Language: English

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