All of us, at some point have heard of MOOC, pronounced mook, or better yet, participated in MOOCs. For the less fortunate, here is what it is. MOOC – Massive open online course. Free/cheap/affordable courses offered online by prestigious Universities, that also often provide a platform to facilitate collaboration between peers and teachers. In short, it is an emulation of an actual classroom experience.
Robert Zemsky, an education person ( If you must know, is a Professor of Education, the Chair of the Learning Alliance for Higher Education, and the founding director of the Institute for Research on Higher Education at the University of Pennsylvania) said “They came; they conquered very little; and now they face substantially diminished prospects.” but I beg to differ. They are here to stay and arguably, they are the future of the present education system. They are becoming more and more popular by the day. In my opinion, here is why.
- Ease of access. Just one click away.
- Opportunity to meet and collaborate with people from different walks of life, from all around the globe. Not an exaggeration, I did have a study group meeting with people from more than one continent, of various professions, belonging to different age group, discussing about logical fallacies and math problems at 4 AM in the morning, I’m not kidding. So much fun!
- Ability to choose subjects of various disciplines at the same time. In the real world, I can’t choose art history and investment banking in the same school can I?
- Free or affordable and totally useful and relevant courses that can potentially get you a job.
- Association with prestigious institutions. Even Ivy league schools like Harvard and Stanford offer free online courses
- Valid certifications that enhance your resume.
- Flexible schedules which helps you attend the class or rather watch the lecture videos online anytime anywhere, even in the bathroom stall!
- Chance to network with the best
As the world gets smaller, people get closer, cultures merge and economic chasm disappears (still a long way to go), physical boundaries disappear too. When there is so much more in the virtual world, why would anyone restrict themselves to physical limitations. Location independent jobs, virtual communities, social media, online collaboration is on the rise. When the whole physical world is going virtual so will the existing education system. Hope at least in the future, we won’t be dictated by the authorities about what we learn, succumb to the conventional education system aimed to breed conformity and kill creativity and originality.
To make this post a tad bit useful to you here is an amazing link to look at the top 50 online course websites which offers plethora of courses at your disposal. http://www.onlinecoursereport.com/the-50-best-online-course-providers-of-2015/