More and more people around the world are increasing their knowledge and skills with the help of MOOC’s. But what exactly is a MOOC and how can MOOC’s can help students and those wanting to learn?
1. What exactly is a MOOC?
MOOC is an acronym for Massive, Open, Online Course.
- Massive = lots of students
- Open = no entry requirements
- Online = students access courses, materials and exams via the internet
- Course = a period of study
We should point out that when we say massive we really do mean massive. Leading MOOCs provides such as Coursera, EdX, and Khan Academy have millions of people using accessing their courses. Compare that with traditional colleges and universities which may just have a few hundred or thousand students and you can see that MOOCs really are massive.
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2. How MOOCs can help students and those wanting to learn?
MOOCs are able to provide learners who have access to the internet with high-quality educational courses.
Whereas in the past courses may only have been available to a small, rich, educated minority, MOOC’s enable courses to be shared quickly and easily with everyone.
Learners can take courses lasting many months or short courses lasting just a few minutes. MOOC’s are flexible and enable a collaborative learning environment that goes beyond political and geographic borders.
3. Will MOOCs replace traditional colleges/universities?
The surge in technological advancement in the 21st century has allowed MOOCs to reach an unprecedented audience. Millions of learners are enjoying a collaborative, free learning experience – it sounds too good to be true.
Critics of MOOCs point to the low-levels of tutor support, as well as exam and certification problems. They also suggest that MOOCs are really just distance education courses (such as those provided by ZAOU or Unisa) in shiny new packaging.
We think MOOC’s are more than just traditional courses in shiny new packaging. The leading MOOC providers enable you to access courses and materials for FREE from some of the very best universities in the world. This is truly game changing and is key part of the democratization of knowledge worldwide. In addition, the leading MOOC providers have created learning resources and environments that make use of the latest technology.
So what are you views on MOOCs? Have you enrolled on a MOOC or would you like to in the future? Enter the debate below and share your views.
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