'Mooc' makes Oxford online dictionary

The acronym Mooc has made the Oxford Dictionaries Online – a web-based lexicon of current English by the publishers of the Oxford English Dictionary

August 28, 2013

Defined as “a course of study made available over the Internet without charge to a very large number of people”, the word Mooc has become commonplace in academia over the last 18 months, after many higher education institutions began offering such courses.

The phrase can be traced back to 2008, when a group of Canadian scholars developed a course called Connectivism and Connective Knowledge, which was delivered to more than 2,000 online students.

However, it was in late 2011 when the Stanford University Mooc “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” attracted around 160,000 enrolments that massive open online courses became more widely known.

Angus Stevenson, head of dictionary projects at Oxford Dictionaries, said: “New words, senses, and phrases are added when we have gathered enough independent evidence from a range of sources to be confident that they have widespread currency in English.”

Mooc is not the only education-related word to be making its debut in the online dictionary. BYOD, an abbreviation of “bring your own device” has also been added. It refers to the practice of people using their own computers, smartphones, or other devices for work purposes, and is increasingly being used in universities, with lecturers encouraging students to use their own gadgets during class.

Each month, Oxford Dictionaries adds around 150 million words to its central database of English usage examples, and approximately 1,000 of these are added to Oxford Dictionaries Online each year.

chris.parr@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

Laurel and Hardy sawing a plank of wood

Working with other academics can be tricky so follow some key rules, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations

Michael Parkin illustration (9 March 2017)

Cramming study into the shortest possible time will impoverish the student experience and drive an even greater wedge between research-enabled permanent staff and the growing underclass of flexible teaching staff, says Tom Cutterham