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I quite like this idea from one of my students. Do comment if you have a few minutes to spare ;)
Julian Summerhayes's profile photoSue Beckingham's profile photoYishay Mor's profile photoSteve Wheeler's profile photo
yep. quite a good idea. also used similar mooc content in military
contexts for pre learning

It is spot on sits well too with open educational resources . There is too much mystery still around many university subjects and candidly there is probably too much padding in many of them too filling up the years rather than filling up minds 
I agree it is a good idea.  The OU's Open Courseware already does this to some degree. For areas like medicine this sort of MOOC could also play a useful role in widening access.
Interesting idea Steve (and student!) - a greater focus is on induction/transition into HE now more than ever, and this is certainly an interesting idea - certainly when put against the growing idea that MOOCs might be used as a marketing tool to drive students onto full degrees (which seems highly unlikely given MOOC completion rates and the shift from free to £ multiple thousands).
Good one to mull over, that - thanks for sharing!
Just make the courses themselves open and you don't need special pre-MOOCs. Students will have run thriugh the MOOC a few times before entering university. The idea of using MOOCs to shop for £9000 courses is just backwards.
Commented. Weird behavior. Showed two copies of my comment, so deleted one, and seemed to delete both, so had to add another comment (and it seems to appear twice?!?).
absolutely agree with +Stephen Downes.
As I commented on the blog, Its called #freemium, and its the model the OU has been using for its #OpenLearn platform for years.
You don't need a MOOC for that. Just open the course content as OER, and tell the students they are paying for guidance and assessment, not for content.
Perhaps the real problem is that many #MOOCs  are little more than unvalidated #OERs .
I'm with Those expressing the view that this appears to be a re-invention of the benefits from providing open educational resources - iTunesU showing actual lectures, materials, assessments etc a la The whole iOS programming course I could complete would seem more than adequate to give a "flavour" of if I'd enjoy a whole programme of study with an organisation. I'm missing seeing any benefit in creating separate content to the actual course which by definition then would not be as representative of the real thing and hence more effort for less utility surely?
Thanks for the share. I'll properly check out once I'm back home. The mobile experience isn't great for typing.
The Open University in the Netherlands uses open courseware for this purpose. Indeed, you don't need a MOOC for this. Maybe basic and general, but real, university courses (e.g. basics in psychology) would suit better for the MOOC-approach. Universities could collaborate on this. You should use MOOC's to improve pedagogy as well. A lot of basic university courses are already massive courses, although not open, online (and not very effective from a pedagogical point of view).
I like the idea, but does branding it a MOOC just add another level of complexity? The idea of having a pre-course area and set of activities is not new, and is something to help students acclimatise to both the technology and the required level of working (student induction?). However if, by branding it a MOOC, it gets a higher level of 'interest' from both students and faculty which results in a higher level of student retention then it's worth it. 

One for further study, and please keep me informed on how you get on (and if you need a willing participant).

All the best, David
It's a pleasant idea. I think students have already made up their mind when they choose a course.  A MOOC would deeply involve them in their research and engage them with colleagues. As for widening access I totally agree. Thanks for sharing!
The idea of providing content to students before they start (or even select) a course, seems like a good idea. I'm less sure that this needs to be a MOOC, after all there are many other ways of making the content available. I think +Yishay Mor has it spot on; open up the content and offer expert guidance, assessment (and I assume, accreditation) for a fee.   
Steve, this suggestion really makes a lot of sense -- and it's an important point that we need to keep ed tech in perspective. It's tempting to go as big and grand as tech will allow -- who doesn't want to fulfill the promise of technology as much as possible? -- but sometimes the best immediate uses are 'smaller' and more practical.
Just my 2 cents: I am undecided about this. It seems this might be a good idea, but I can see it twisted really quick in all sorts of ways. I am not going to say which, so as not to give ideas to some :-). I think if you make it an exploratory learning experience, in the spirit of cMOOCs, with a community experimenting with and reflecting upon the ways in which knowledge is created in a certain field, the language and processes of that field, the practices of experts, etc. this has great potential. If it is to be a MOOC of the x kind, based on content / resources only, than there are already alternatives, which some have talked about in the comments, that can do the job.
I see it as an opportunity for prospective students to get a taste of what a joy learning can be particularly when you have the choice of what course (unlike school) and then potentially an option to go for distance learning or within a university. Making the decision what to learn is often hard for many, but engaging in an open course first could help the decision.    
In a way, that's what we're trying to do with #OLDSMOOC and #H817 The #MOOC  has a learning design studio format, and so does a block of the module. We're even considering exporting some activities from the module as  #OERs  for the MOOC.
The thing is, MOOCs and taught courses are two very different creatures. Any student who expects a similar learning experience will be disappointed.
Thanks for all your comments. Food for thought.
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