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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Executive Education

6 Things Everyone Should Know About MOOCs

There isn’t a better time to talk about MOOCs than this. The global education system has been dramatically affected by the ongoing pandemic as a result of which online educational platforms have risen to prominence. One of the key features of this change is the growing emphasis on MOOCs—a term that was already in popular usage but has become all the more relevant during the COVID-19 crisis.

For nurturing a learning environment in the virtual space irrespective of where you are, MOOCs have had made major contributions in the past. Today and tomorrow, these contributions will only grow. However, you may have questions about MOOCs and what they actually are. Just to clear up your confusion, this article will highlight all the important elements of MOOCs. Here are 6 things you should know about MOOCs.

  1. Audit for Free
    There should be no barriers to seeking knowledge. In reality, of course, there are plenty of these obstacles but MOOCs try to eliminate at least a few of them. MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. The very use of the word ‘open’ indicates that they are freely accessible to anyone and everyone from across the globe. You can access course material, watch videos, and interact in forums. However, lately, many MOOCs require you to register at a fee in case you wish for a certificate for the same. Otherwise, you can make use of these courses at your convenience.
  2. The Opportunity to Learn From The World
    Most high-profile universities have taken up online education in one way or another. Universities such as Harvard, IITs, Stanford, and Tokyo University already have their respective MOOCs available, especially on the popular websites edX and Coursera. The advantage of these MOOCs is that you can learn from professors and industrial experts from all over the world without moving an inch from your seat. All you need is an Internet connection and determination to learn and grow.
  3. Pay For Edge
    As noted earlier, MOOCs are accessible freely but you may end up paying for them if you want a certificate. This is not a bad deal actually, especially if you are getting a certificate from top-tier institutions. These e-certificates are authenticated from the respective institutions and have become increasingly important in the academic world. You can add them to your resume and brandish them whenever you want. It is going to give an added advantage over other people in life. Moreover, the costs involved for this are not very high, at least crazily less than what you would have actually paid for a class in one of those institutions.
  4. Evolving Into Degree Programs
    You may not believe this but MOOCs are evolving into degree programs. We have always understood degree programs most conventionally: going to university, completing a set number of classes marked by physical presence, writing paper-based exams, and whatnot. On EdX, for example, there are a handful of universities that have started experimenting with the idea of providing MOOC-based degree programs and have been well-received internationally.
  5. Can be Great Platforms for High School Students
    Not everyone knows what they want to do after school. We like a particular area of study, but after some research might find it uninteresting. We often start with no clue in our minds as to where our future will be if we choose this or that. One of the ways to explore all kinds of available options is through MOOCs. You have the liberty to audit course, learn from the course material, and determine for yourself whether you are okay with it as a career. Even those who are sure of what they want to do after school will get some head-start about university education. Either way, MOOCs will serve as a great preparatory framework for young school graduates.
  6. MOOCs can test your patience and determination
    One major challenge students experience while accessing MOOCs is that they feel less invested at times. Anything free is often taken for granted. When you can access courses online for free, it is not unsurprising that drop rates would be high. It is a common phenomenon across various MOOC platforms. Therefore, if you sign up for a MOOC, stay persistent. It may become challenging to finish through the course but once you do, you would have a wealth of knowledge.

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Dr. Amarendra Bhushan Dhiraj
CEO and editorial director of the CEOWORLD magazine, an extensively kudized author, noted journalist, syndicated columnist, and ostensible entrepreneur. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or connect on LinkedIn.