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GROOCs: Facing MOOCs in Groups

by Jennifer Lewington

The Globe and Mail

Article excerpt

Meet GROOC: McGill's new online course has a group-learning twist

First came the MOOCs, referring to massive open online courses that offer free access to higher-education learning through the Internet. Now comes the GROOC: a group-based version of MOOCs developed and delivered by professors at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management, including internationally recognized management guru Henry Mintzberg.

Our take

Get Into the GROOC

MOOCs are morphing into a new hybrid—GROOCs, just one more addition to a growing number of options for engaging with remote learners. GROOCs, or group-based open online courses, put control in the hands of participants, who organize into groups and develop processes for interacting and collaborating. This example is based on business education in a master’s program environment, but GROOCs don’t need to be limited to this audience. Is there relevance for your school system or university?

MOOCs have traditionally been viewed as a one-to-one interaction between students acting independently to access content, with little collaboration or interaction between learners, but online information can be used as a focal point for learners to engage with as they work together toward some desired outcome—whether the creation of a report, website, video, or a wide range of other deliverables.