MOOCs’- A fad or a desire !

The Massive Open Online Courses, now a reality feed to the masses the opportunity to explore the world with new pace of knowledge delivery. To excel at work with pace, there has to be an aura of learning by fun and frolic, on line, distant apart.

Today, MOOCs provide access to many of the same courses being taught at some of the world's leading universities, and by leading scholars and industry experts in all areas:  From Computer Science to Economics to Medicine to Literature to Engineering to Social Sciences and others.

The Wikipedia says, a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC; English pronunciation: /muːk/) is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings, and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive users that help build a community for students, professors, and teaching assistants (TAs). MOOCs are a recent development in distance education.

What is a MOOC?

What is there to offer?

MOOCs use closed licenses for their course materials, while maintaining free access for students.

M: Massive
O: Open
O: Online
C: Course

MASSIVE: 100?/ 1,000?/ 10,000?/ 100,000?

OPEN: Open Registration/ Open Content/ Free of Charge/ Affordable?

ONLINE: Real-time interaction? / Local cohorts?

COURSE: Self-paced?/ Start/ end dates? / College Credits?/ Badges?/ Role of the instructor?/ Learning Community?/ Scripted assessments and feedback?

The value governs the learning at pace and priority. There are open source teaching material viz. the Class2Go is a stanford platform for putting its course content in open source which is now an open source software framework too. With the rise in MOOCs, all the elite universities have joined the movement by providing their course material openly to all. Perhaps it all began with the OCW of MIT, Harvard and MIT lead the wagon with the edX platform. Yet other successful platforms are Udacity by UC Berkely. Coursera is the most followed MOOC platform where the courses come from almost all the elite universities at a single stop.  For students wanting to showcase their MOOC courses and achievements to employers, schools and others, a new optional type of paid "Verified Certificate" credential verifying the identity of the person who took and completed the MOOC is now available. It is not just an online course. It is not a school, but an opportunity to connect and discuss over a course curriculum which offers blended learning.

The new Verified Certificate MOOCs will verify your identity through a variety of means that can include webcam, keystroke analysis, valid photo identification, and/or test centers.  Each MOOC provider can require different methods of identification in order to grant the Verified Certificate. Make sure to read the MOOC's requirements closely prior to enrolling in the course because most Verified Certificate fees must be paid at the beginning of the course and are not refundable,  quotes the MOOCs’ website which offers a wide variety of options for all.  It allows a way to connect and collaborate.

Not only this, to surprise of many, the libraries of tomorrow might be digital, but too often going digital, like going green, simply means reducing costs and cutting public services. With more and more millennials enrolled in on-line courses, MOOCS, distance degree programs, and other higher education opportunities not tied to a university campus, the public library is a central site of learning and innovation. As the books slowly disappear, and the university campus becomes virtual, it is essential that digital libraries maintain a prominent public space for local collaboration. The MOOCs prove out hence to be an event, where in, people work together and talk about a topic in a structured way.

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The feedback:

Here comes the debate, the fad or a desire !

The researchers say, it is more so ever a far-fetching experience of pride and honour, sharing the honour and making the things possible to explore. Some people who have completed MOOCs say they’re including them on resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Human resources executives and recruiters tell me they aren’t seeing significant numbers of candidates touting the MOOCs they’ve completed. But those who have seen mentions of MOOCs say it’s an indication of commitment to upgrading skills and knowledge to preface with the work environments of today !

The conclusion:

What the recruiters say, what not, the feedback analysis contributes to the fact that, while the major MOOC providers will continue to grow their inventory of MOOC courses, a new breed of MOOC provider/aggregator is starting to rise. These courses are open, the work is accessible and shared among all who take the course together. The work done is shared and negotiated in the open among the learners. The course is participatory, with all becoming the part of the course by engaging with the material with each other. One gets connected with the ideas being shared.  Providers, for-profit & non-profit, are rapidly moving to strategically grab the global online destination for specific vertical MOOC market segments. One of the side effects of MOOC is the distributed knowledge base on the Internet.  For the majority, it is certainly the desire but the fad as above all the credits count at work station. Ref:

Top 10 Sites for Information about MOOCs:

  1. Udemy Free Courses – Udemy is an example of a site allows anyone to build or take online courses.

  2. ITunesU Free Courses – Apple’s free app “gives students access to all the materials for courses in a single place. Right in the app, they can play video or audio lectures. Read books and view presentations.”
  3. Link:   

  4. Stanford Free Courses -  From Quantum Mechanics to The Future of the Internet, Stanford offers a variety of free courses. 

  5. UC Berkeley Free Courses – From General Biology to Human Emotion, Berkley offers a variety of courses.   

  6. MIT Free Courses

  7. Duke Free Courses – Duke offers a variety of courses on ITunesU. 

  8. Harvard Free Courses – From Computer Science to Shakespeare, students may now get a free Harvard education.

  9. UCLA Free Courses

  10. Yale Free Courses – At Open Yale, the school offers “free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University.

  11. Carnegie Mellon Free Courses – Carnegie Mellon boosts “No instructors, no credits, no charge.”


About the Author
Author: Dheeraj MehrotraWebsite:
Dr. Dheeraj Mehrotra is presently working as Vice President (Academics & Training) with Next Education India Pvt. Ltd. Hyderabad. He has been honoured with the President of India’s National Award For Teachers in the year 2006 and the Best Science Teacher State Award (By the Ministry of Science and Technology, State of UP) for his excellence in the field of education.

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