In this question, the OP believes that studying by MOOC should be on-topic since it deals with the idea of gaining knowledge from a teacher in a more-or-less formal way. However, the question was closed as off-topic by several, including myself, who believe academia to be focused on universities and the like.

While I can see the OP's argument, we do generally say that undergraduate studies is off-topic. Not that all MOOC are for undergraduates but rather there is a clear statement that not all learning is on-topic. This question is to help find the line between on- and off-topic.

So, where does this question fall? On- or off-topic?


3 Answers 3


Questions about MOOC's are not prima facie off-topic. This question, however, does not ask a question relevant for our forum. "Can I learn a subject using a MOOC" is too broad for an SE site.


This is a forum about academia, not education. MOOCs are directly related to education, but not necessarily academia. A question would not be on-topic simply by virtue of it's pertaining to MOOCs. The inverse is not necessarily true; an academia-related question may include some content about MOOCs.


If I can say something: MOOC courses are followed by people not only in their undergraduate degrees, but also at master's level. In those cases if one gets a certificate of accomplishment one can get extra credits for the course

So I really still not see why MOOC is considered as something out of the academic world

  • 1
    I have edited my question to make it clearer. I was not trying to imply that MOOC=undergrad studies, rather that the site has clearly made the decision that some learning issues are off-topic.
    – earthling
    Feb 15, 2014 at 0:09

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