Sunday, March 22, 2015

Are MOOCs the Future of Education?

You might be asking yourself, what in the world is a MOOC?  You are not alone, until recently I had never heard of them!  A MOOC is a "Massive Open Online Course" and while they are still very new, they seem promising.  There is not a lot of research on these courses yet so time will tell.

Put simply, MOOCs are online classes open to hundreds or thousands of people who work together to create learning goals based on common interests, skills and prior knowledge.  They are free and the only requirement is the desire to learn and an internet connection.  I am not sure if this style of learning is for everyone but it's worth investigating further.

Here are my thoughts...

Pros to MOOCs:

  • Cost to join is pretty much free (with the exception of internet and a computer)
  • MOOCs are open to anyone and everyone who has interest
  • Allows continuing education with out the limits of time demands, geographical, financial restraints
Cons/Questions to MOOCs:
  • Are they sustainable?
  • Are they well known enough to gain strong support?
  • What are the logistics of organizing up to thousands of people and creating a platform to support them?
  • Accreditation...will these courses be recognized as legitimate?
Here is a list of the current and upcoming MOOCs:

Here is a recent article from PR Newswire on MOOCs if you want to know the current conversations.

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