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MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are a relatively recent, and rapidly growing, innovation in distance learning. Our purposes are to help newcomers to MOOCs find their way round, and to share feedback on the MOOCs members are currently studying. Our meetings are very informal, over a cup of coffee, and range widely over every conceivable topic, stimulated by the subjects members have been learning about on MOOCs.
The range of topics is enormous – and can be checked on the group page of Perth U3A’s website where we lodge summaries of our meetings. The main provider of MOOCs in UK is Future Learn, but members opt into courses offered by other providers such as Coursera (largely American based). During this session we have also delved into other online learning opportunities, notably TED talks, readily available as podcasts on the internet. These are short lectures by specialists from all over the world, and like MOOCs they embrace an amazing range of subject matter.
The group has had an average attendance of 9 over its meetings this session and has welcomed some new members. We are always pleased to have newcomers and are keen to share our experience and enthusiasm with them. Our web page has a wealth of background material about MOOCs and how to get the best out of them and we encourage members to post reviews of courses they have completed.
Our meeting place, in the Grampian Hotel, York Place, provides an ideal environment for our meetings – in November we had a group lunch in the week of St Andrews Day which allowed us to continue our conversations a bit longer.