Are MOOCs the future for education?

Have you heard about MOOCs?

Interested in learning? In this article we explore how MOOCs are helping people to learn new skills and acquire knowledge.

1. What are MOOCs?

The term MOOC stands for MASSIVE OPEN ONLINE COURSE. 

So what does this term actually mean?

  • Massive = thousands of courses and millions of students
  • Open      = open to all i.e. no entry requirements
  • Online    = access courses using via the internet
  • Course    = what you study

2. How are MOOCs helping those wanting to learn?

  • HIGH QUALITY MOOCs provide high quality educational courses to millions of people around the world via the internet.
  • BEST UNIVERSITIES Some of the world’s very best universities are providing access to their courses for FREE. This includes Yale, Princeton and Caltech (recently voted the world’ best university) via Coursera.org and Harvard and MIT via EdX.org. Other providers include www.khanacademy.org and www.oercommons.org.
  • FLEXIBILITY MOOCs are extremely flexiblePeople can now learn when they want where they want. They can take courses lasting just a few minutes or courses that last many months.
  • AFFORDABILITY Many courses can be accessed for FREE. Learners can acquire knowledge that once would have required payment.
  • GLOBAL REACH In the past education was only available to a minority of people, MOOCs enable courses to be shared quickly and easily with millions of people.

3. Will MOOCs replace physical colleges and universities?

It is clear that the way we access education and share knowledge is changing due to technological developments. However, there are many courses that require the facilities and resources that a physical college or university can provide. Rather than a competition, we see MOOCs providing an additional valuable service and vast choice to those wanting to learn.

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