This topic can be a little bit tough for me as my SO is really interested/specialized on it. I consider this a very interesting topic because I see education as the tool that shapes the world.
What is a MOOC?
MOOC is an acronym that stands for Massive Open Online Course. It is Massive because there are thousands of people from all over the world enrolled in these type of courses. Open because anybody can enroll, it is usually free and rarely there are pre-requisites or necessary knowledge to be able to follow the concepts of the course. The part of Online Course does not need to be explained!
The term MOOC was coined in 2008 but it wasn’t until 2012 when it went massive. So massive that the New York Times names 2012 “The Year of the MOOC”
There are many different ways to categorize MOOC’s but the most common way to do it is from the learning perspective. We can differenciate two types of MOOC’s, xMOOC and cMOOC.
- The xMOOC are courses that resemble the traditional classroom with the teacher as the main provider of information.
- The cMOOC are courses that focus more on the connection between participants, like our new Blogging101 course. There is guidance form the side of the teacher but the main interaction is with other students.
What can I learn?
You can learn almost anything you can think ,from computer science to Art. Except calligraphy, I’ve look so many times!
Who provides these services?
The MOOC’s are provided by the most prestigious universities in the world. Always wonder the feeling of a Harvard student? Take a course from them! Some are totally worth it!
Harvard and MIT together (later collaborating with many other institutions) started a platform called EdX. There are many other platforms depending on the institutions. The biggest is without a doubt Coursera. You can find the British version under the name of Futurelearn. If you want to learn but aren’t comfortable studying in English you can try MiriadaX the Iberoamerican version and give your Spanish a try. You can find so many platforms and so many courses that it can get overwhelming, especially if you are like me and you wan to try them all.
There are other platforms that I would like to mention. I will only share two because the list can get long again. My beloved Khan Academy where the Salman Khan himself will make math, economy and many other topics simple and easy to follow.
The second and one of my favorites is Code Academy where they made coding a program or website look easy. It’s perfect no matter your level of experience. We know so little of things we use everyday!
Why should you start learning?
And here the question should be “Why not start learning?” You may think that your agenda is packed already, but I’m sure you can find a course that really interests you, is useful for you and doesn’t require many weekly hours. Give it a try!
I took several MOOC’s already but I want to know your experience with online learning.
Have you ever tried a MOOC? How was your experience?
Do you have any other experience with online learning?
Do you plan on signing up for online learning in the future?