"Traditional online courses charge tuition, carry credit and limit enrollment to a few dozen to ensure interaction with instructors. The MOOC, on the other hand, is usually free, credit-less and, well, massive."

"Essentially these are packaged up pieces of learning that last a few weeks, are often put together by a top professor at a top university, and are available to anyone with a computer. Enrolment is unlimited, there are no entry requirements, and they are completely free. "

"The academic world is buzzing with the notion that this could change, well, everything. "We are at a pivotal moment," says former Princeton president William Bowen. "Two forces are combining: extraordinary technological progress with economic need.""

"Ever since Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) appeared, we have been talking about the widespread need for knowledge, the joy of lifelong learning, the magic of great teachers and so on."

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