Comité Champagne MOOC, Massive Open Online Course
The official online course about Champagne wines is now available, provided by the Comité Champagne, called the MOOC.
The Comité Champagne is, “the trade association that represents the interests of independent Champagne producers and Champagne Houses. Its mandate is to promote the vines and wines of Champagne. Its broad remit includes economic, technical, and environmental development; continuous quality improvement; sector management; marketing and communications; and the promotion and protection of the Champagne AOC across the world”.
Timely for the lockdown?
Being in lockdown has, of course, restricted our activities to what is achievable in isolation. For me, writing, wine tasting, and drinking carry on at home unabated. But any other wine-related activity has been impossible. And so it is, whatever our profession or interests are. But one potential advantage of confinement is that it’s a useful time for brushing up knowledge or learning new skills. And not just by reading; of late, webinars have come to the fore as well.
But what about undertaking an online wine course? Welcome to the Champagne MOOC, new for 2020.
The Comité Champagne has always been an excellent source of information, but this new digital course takes it to another level. The title of MOOC is an acronym that stands for Massive Open Online Course. A MOOC is a free online course available for anyone to undertake. The idea is to provide an affordable and flexible way to learn new skills, develop a career, and deliver quality educational experiences at scale.
It’s CPD for those working in the wine and hospitality sectors. But this course is aimed just as squarely at those that don’t. No prior knowledge is required, apart from an interest in Champagne, yet there’s enough detail to create real expertise. No online course can replicate the value and energy that comes from personal interaction. But given that option isn’t available right now, this is an excellent way to acquire new knowledge and skills.
The Classic version
The Classic version is free; there are no strings attached.
The material has four main themes. These are the history and economy of Champagne; the terroir that produces it; the production process; the different styles of Champagne, and how to taste and serve them. The content consists mainly of many short and digestible videos, all made by people who work in Champagne.
The Platform and videos are primarily in French and English. There’s been considerable care taken with the quality of translations and ensuring clear communication. Also, the videos have subtitles in German, English, Chinese, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, and Russian.
On the way, there’s interactive access, which allows for questions and interactions with others on the course. Each module has a refresher test at the end.
What’s great is that the high-quality material lasts for about 5 hours in total, but take as much time as you want to work through it. Do it at your own pace – the platform is available 24/7. Consequently, mine took about a week. That was by doing an hour or so per day in and amongst other activities and enjoying the journey.
The Premium version
In addition to the Classic course, there is then a 5th optional element called the Premium version. It has access to more in-depth videos, but the main feature is the Statement of Completion. It’s a course certificate which you can receive provided that a) you pay 49 Euro and then b) pass the challenging test, with a pass level set at 80%. And you only get one chance.
My advice is this – do the Classic version for free and see how you go. Then if you decide to upgrade, do this at any time, without any hard sell.
With the Premium version, the MOOC also provides you with any new material released in the future. Topics I’d like to see include the Échelle des Crus, the Maillard reaction in Champagne ageing, the Coteaux Champenois still red wine, and more about those four rare grapes: Arbane, Petit Meslier, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. And as I particularly liked the material in the Classic version on sustainability, I’m keen to see more on that aspect too.
So if the Champagne MOOC sounds interesting:
Here’s the link to find out more: The Comité Champagne MOOC
Here’s the Statement of completion
This MOOC course is engaging and stimulating all the way through. A lot of thought and effort has gone into it. I enjoyed doing it, and I hope you do too.
And just remember, Champagne can only come from Champagne.
P.S. I’m very positive about the Comité Champagne MOOC, based on my own experiences. Nobody asked me to endorse it or did me any favours, which is just how it should be.