28 Oct 2015

Taking a Look at Massive Open Online Courses

Article on - Taking a Look at Massive Open Online Courses

Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, are free online courses from universities around the world. They are available to anyone as long as they have a working internet connection.

Several popular MOOC provider platforms have emerged, such as Coursera, Udacity, and EdX. These platforms partner with universities and professors to offer MOOCs.
What do MOOCs entail?

MOOCs are designed for an online audience. These courses are usually conducted through short pre-recorded video lectures that last roughly 5-20 minutes. You watch these videos on a weekly schedule, whenever it’s convenient for you. They also include student discussion forums, assignments, and online quizzes or exams.

A wide range of subjects are covered by MOOCs – computer science, engineering, business, medicine, music, social science, humanities, and many more. Whatever your interest is, you’ll probably be able to find something that suits your fancy.
Why should you sign up for MOOCs?

Most MOOCs offer a certificate of completion, provided you achieve a certain grade in the course. But you’ll have to personally check if the MOOC you are interested in offers a certificate or not.

Also, MOOCs are a good way to get into something new. If you’re not confident in your abilities before registering for a full-time course, make use of MOOCs to acclimatise yourself to the subject matter. Since MOOCs are free, you won’t be losing much even if you discover that you are not suited for the course.
What are the downsides to MOOCs?

Generally speaking, you won’t be able to receive course credits for completing a class. Although universities sponsor most MOOCs, you will not directly registered with the university.

While most MOOCs offer a certificate of completion upon completion of the course, you, these are issued in the name of the platform provider (e.g. Coursera, edX, Udacity, etc.), not the sponsoring university.

With that said though, you will still be able to list the MOOCs you have completed as training experience on your CV.

All in all, MOOCs are a convenient way to learn, all from the comfort of your own home. So if you are looking for a way to improve yourself, or if you are trying to get into something new, then you should consider signing up for an MOOC.