Our Review of Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
MOOCs, or Massively Open Online Courses, are evolving into the way most people will learn subjects "formally" as MOOCs are the online equivalent of a "brick and mortar" college or university education.
While much like online courses they have basically the same Internet-based model, MOOCs are distinguished by the fact that actual university faculty create, monitor and improve the courses as opposed to online courses where anyone, good or bad, can create and publish a course. As such MOOCs tend to be a cut above the general online course offerings as well as have the capability of being accredited. And you can receive both a Certificate and/or Degree from most of them.
Each MOOC has its own "course platform" that is sort of like an operating system. This gives the participating course creators from many universities the freedom to create their individual courses without reinventing the wheel each time. Plus, it gives a consistency to the courses that are hosted on the platform. And this also includes the ability to interact directly with students as well as (vastly) improve on course content, grading and feedback. Each MOOC operating system is improving thus making your experience with them that much better as time goes on.
MOOCs are growing and evolving by the day as more and more established universities adopt the model, and more MOOCs are being added as you read this. That said, we've chosen the following MOOCs that seem to offer the best ways to LearnOnLine (there's that word again) right now. Again, while these are not the only ones out there, the following are presented for your consideration based on our personal reviews of them. Just Know This! when you do your own evaluation.
The following are NOT PRESENTED IN ANY ORDER OF PREFERENCE.
Originally created by Stanford University as a for-profit organization
Coursera provides universal access to the world’s best education, partnering with top universities and organizations to offer courses online
As they say, each course is like an interactive textbook featuring pre-recorded videos, quizzes, and projects.
And help and support comes by connecting with thousands of other learners to debate ideas, discuss course material, and get help mastering concepts. Yep...it's true!
You can specialize in specific subjects like Excel for Business, Deep Learning, GIS, electronics, etc.
Plus, they offer Certificates for course completion as well as full-blown Degrees
Here's a YouTube video from one of the co-founders that tells more
- Founded as a non-profit between MIT and Harvard, edX is..
- Now partnered with many other established universities
- Just about any subject you can imagine can be learned
- Including university credit
- And here's how it works
- Certificates are part of the offerings
Plus here's a good Ted talk from the founder Anant Agarwal
The edX website is clear and direct so you should have minimal trouble navigating it.