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MOOC, COOC, SPOC... How do you figure it out?

It's hard to miss the MOOC trend that has developed in recent years, to the point of flooding free training platforms. Thanks to MOOCs, everyone can train freely and for free, and even receive certification. But then... What do the new terms COOC and SPOC mean? 

mooc definition

It is difficult not to feel helpless in the face of this constant stream of new technical terms and other abbreviations that have emerged since the arrival of digital learning in the training process. 

Are you completely lost at the slightest mention of the word MOOC? Don't panic, this article is exactly what you need.

Let's decipher it!


MOOC (Massive Online Open Course)


First appearing in the 2000s, these online courses, open to all and aimed at abolishing the idea that learning is reserved for an elitist population, are spreading especially around the 2010s. 

The content of a MOOC is accessible from a smartphone, a tablet or a computer and can be followed by a very large number of learners, as opposed to a virtual classroom. Find our article on this subject, right here! Moreover, one of the major differences between these two training systems is that the learners register themselves for their training, according to their wishes and/or needs. 

The interactivity of the format therefore makes it very attractive, and helps to stimulate an already established interest in the learner..


COOC (Corporate Online Open Course)


"Corporate" refers to the private aspect of COOC, which differentiates it from MOOC. It is a new e-learning training process for professionals. Another significant difference is that online courses are no longer developed by a trainer or teacher but by a professional in the sector (employee, manager, expert) who is responsible for highlighting one or more aspects of their area of expertise. 

Very practical for company employees who have access to their training at any time of the day, the COOC is both an attractive device and a time-saver since it avoids meetings and conferences to focus on the essential: learning. 

The company can also decide to share its training courses with its customers, suppliers or any other person likely to need them. 

In short, COOCS allow the maximum use of the knowledge of experts in a sector in order to transmit it more effectively to the employees of a company.

cooc definition

SPOC (Small private online course)


SPOC stands out as a comprehensive interactive training for a small group of learners. In addition to the online videos and quizzes already present in the MOOC, it offers practical exercises and collaborative work to optimize the training. 

Like the COOC, the SPOC has a private aspect, aimed at a targeted audience. Whether within a company (inter-company) or for a group of companies in the same sector (intra-company), the principle is the same: the learner follows his training week after week, is evaluated as he goes along and can exchange with his trainer at any time. At the end of his training, the learner obtains a certification. 

As you will have understood, MOOC and its little brothers, the COOC and SPOC, have revolutionised Digital Learning by establishing themselves as a practical and fun way to validate a training course. Whether professional or private, the learner is integrated into a group, favouring social learning (participants learn from each other), but he is also close to his trainer, contrary to traditional e-learning which tends to isolate the learner..

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  • MOOCs are free online courses open to all. Learners register for the courses on their own initiative.
  • The COOCs are intended for professionals and companies. 
  • SPOCs are private courses, reserved for small groups of learners, intra or inter-company.