MOOC’s: An Impetus to purse education

MOOC is massive open online course. It is massive because classes may consist of up to more than ten thousands students. By open it is meant that registration in the course is accessible all over the world by taking the course online. Course means it is similar to the courses offered in colleges but doesn’t have any credits. Thus, MOOC aims at providing online courses to wide range of audience with open access through Internet. Traditional courses used to focus on lecture methods, readings etc; however MOOC courses provide interactive platform for the educators such as students, academic assistants, and faculty. Thus, MOOC has unlimited participants who engage in knowledge sharing collaboratively. This helps them to develop and construct their own insights and ideas and use the information according to their respective needs. It is an undefined pedagogical method that organizes teaching and learning on a specific topic but in an informal manner.

Along with the regular courses offered by various institutes, these days’ institutes are finding better ways for promotion of knowledge of students by engaging them in MOOC courses. Thus, MOOC’s are becoming the biggest trend in the current scenario of education by offering opportunity to individuals of diverse demographics to pursue education. It is emerging as the upcoming boon for students who are interested in various courses that institutes are still not able to offer. Student’s register for the courses online, watch short videos of the various topics covered under these courses and complete assignments that are graded automatically or by the panel of experts. Biggest MOOC’s platforms are edx, canvas network, and future learns to name a few. MOOC offers both advantages and disadvantages in the current educational trends by impacting effectiveness in teaching and learning processes.

Advantages of MOOC Courses

  1. It gives individuals a chance to collaboratively exchange ideas and view points by bringing them together thereby enhancing learning of the individuals.
  2. It is an advantage to the individuals who have faced hurdles in pursuing education due to lack of funds and geographical locations.
  3. It offers diverse classes on varied topics so that individuals remain updated of the latest upcoming trends thereby offering a competitive advantage.
  4. It provides opportunities for the individuals to learn at their own paces whenever it is convenient for them. They can just log in with their ID’s and access the course anytime they desire before the course ends.
  5. It offers distributed learning since individuals seek help from each other during completion of assignments. In this manner they can have a better understanding on the material and get a quick and constructive feedback.

Other advantages that MOOC course offers are less of distance constraints, varied range of innovative courses, improving access to higher education, better teaching quality by the professors, and offering business opportunities to name a few.

Disadvantages of MOOC courses

  1. When individuals learn at their own face, sometimes they miss a deadline of the assignment and hence end up scoring less grade overall.
  2. It makes it easier for students to drop out whenever they wish too if it’s a free online course.
  3. It doesn’t offer any credits.
  4. Instructors are not always accessible.
  5. Discussion platforms are sometimes challenging.

Thus, overall MOOC courses have pros and cons. However, cons can be reduced by offering certain benefits to students like certificates by the end of the course.

By Dr Saniya Chawla

Assistant Professor

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