A MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course. Since around 2012 they have begun to flourish on the Internet. There are several platforms (e.g. Coursera, edX, Udacity, and others). The general concept is to offer distance learning, typically free of charge, to a massive international student body. MOOCs often include video lectures, written assignments, quizzes, a discussion forum where students can interact and engage further with the material, and a final exam. On most platforms, and for most courses, if you complete the assignments and pass the exam you can earn a statement of completion indicating that you have successfully fulfilled the requirements for the course. Subjects have tended to focus on STEM fields (Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics), however, more and more other fields of study have been included (e.g. the Humanities).
I have completed several technology based MOOCs, and really enjoyed the experience. I began to wonder if there were any Buddhist specific MOOCs out there, so I did a search. Lo and behold, I found this:
Though my practice is much more traditional (i.e. I am not all that interested in “secular Buddhism”) this looks promising in terms of an online course. It will be interesting to see how it turns out, and to participate with other students. Buddhist Meditation and the Modern World begins January 19th 2015, and runs for 13 weeks. Enrollment is open now. This is a free class on the Coursera platform, offered by the University of Virginia.
Maybe I’ll see some of you there?