Contributions of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in the Education Field

By Arinze Edwin. Arinze is 21 years old. He lives in Onitsha, Nigeria

Massive open online course (MOOC) is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access through the web. MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for students, professors and teaching assistants. MOOCs are the biggest upcoming trend in the current education scenario. It has offered opportunity to all individuals irrespective of his or her economic background and physical location to pursue his or her education. MOOC is undoubtedly a boon for students interested in various courses, however, there are certain challenges one must be aware of while pursuing massive open online courses. MOOCs offer the entire learning community equal rights to education. People can choose from the varied range of programs and enroll for the course of their choice from the convenience of their homes without spending a dime. Although students study independently in these courses, they at the same time collaborate with their peers from different parts of the world. MOOCs are boon for people who have faced obstacles in pursuing education due to lack of fund, no proper opportunities, un-accessible geographical location, etc. My observations from the experience of the learners motivated to take MOOCs was as a result of their inability to meet up with the financial aspect of higher education; their goal is to better understand whether and how MOOCs can be a pathway to employment for these populations. Through these activities, we will begin to understand the ways in which the MOOC experiences may affect employment or potential employment for students who are not properly well served by more traditional forms of higher education.

A massive open online course (MOOC) is a model for delivering learning contents online to any person who wants to take any course, with no limit on attendance. Pedagogically, MOOCs are designed to be extremely interactive. It uses all the interactive media available on the internet to engage students. The various tools include blogs, videos, podcasts and forums that are embedded into the program seamlessly. These tools make learners collaborate and help them solve real world problems rather than discussing hypothetical material. Real discussion of ideas, theories and concepts are an integral part of a MOOC and are used for peer review and assessment. MOOCs do not just put institutions names into people’s heads, they actively encourage the staff and students of that institution to interact with the wider public, and vice versa. Now you could argue the philosophy of a course and the lack of teacher-learner interaction in some courses. But generally speaking, they provide a chance for a learner to engage with other learners. This is generally considered a good-thing in educational terms, engagement leads to interaction which can lead to some good learning. MOOCs provide a chance for institutions to reach out to a wide audience, potentially a group who may never have the chance to link with it in any other form. Disadvantaged groups, or these located half-way around the world are offered a chance, even if thinly veiled, to connect with otherwise unavailable institution.

Some have speculated that MOOCs would help give individuals in the job market a boost……..someone taking a course and receiving a certificate from a course taught by a world-class professor might have an edge when looking for a job. Am not entirely convinced this would be the case, some type of a permanent standardized record of a course contents and official credentials for courses among different MOOC platforms would be needed for a MOOC to carry more weight with potential employers. MOOC have a potential here for not only helping incoming college students succeed, but giving a preview of a particular university’s teaching style to potential applicants. More importantly, it could help high school teachers shift their time to core courses at their school and give them the opportunity to work with students as mentors and coaches in new innovative ways. It was a powerful reminder of the value of MOOCs of being able to experience a wide range of subjects with no negative consequences if you discover that actually you are not so fond of a subject and might discover that you really enjoy something unexpected. The obvious advantage of MOOC is their capacity to reach a nearly unlimited audience.

MOOCs enable people to easily learn any new topics (for instance, in-memory computing) whenever needed and to stay up to date during their entire career. The experiment showcases how MOOC principles can connect on-ground classes with distant resources and allow students to reach a wide audience with their work. MOOCs enable lifelong learners from around the globe to interact with one another on unprecedented scales. Since MOOCs are not bound by academic calendar, a semester or year of material could be broken into smaller units of a few weeks that students can take during summer breaks or other times that fit better with their overall schedule. Given that MOOCs are often criticized for their lack of student’s engagement, peer assessment could be a breakthrough that could validate their mass scale. MOOCs explored unhesitatingly the potential, pitfalls, drawbacks, and advantage of massive open approaches to teaching and learning. The question is, what is different about this approach, and why is it worth watching even in its first commercial implementations? In this essay, I have explored the process they are testing and examining the potential for peer assessments to change how MOOCs are used. The study will provide a better understanding of the factors that affect quantitative and qualitative engagement with course materials and design and should identify potential measures to improve MOOC completion rates. This is the kind of learning to which MOOCs (or any course) should aspire: not to a poor mimicry of what we already do, but learning that is informed by the specific potential of the people working in the community.

MOOCs are a better means of improving the academic standard of a country because it is an effective way of getting out an important message or to raise awareness about certain topics. MOOCs provide an opportunity for a learner to acquire proficiency or participation certificates for a particular skill set or particular piece of knowledge. At a time when addressing skills development is a matter of priority in policy making, MOOCs can offer new opportunities to address that concern involving much larger numbers of learners than is currently possible. Understanding the importance and indispensable aspects of MOOCs and giving due attention to its teaching and learning strategies can help us conquer those challenges common to traditional classrooms and MOOCs alike. Professional education will become more critical in the future, and MOOCs provides a great means.

89 comments on “Contributions of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in the Education Field

  1. daniel on

    Yeah is so nice .keep it up . Your write up is good and nice . Out of all I have been seeing and reading this the best so far. God help those who help themselves my brother your good to go… 

    Reply
  2. Mekuscato on

    Wow, posterity will not forgive me if I fail to acknowledge the unflinching effort of the writer to unvail a meaningful rout to attain greatness….. Nice write-up

    Reply
  3. PEACE EDWIN on

    Little brother……I think its high time they gave u the prize. Ur work was readable,comprehensible and awesome. I love ur article.

    Reply
  4. JEREMIAH EDWIN on

    Younger brother……your articles is just a society rejuvenating article, especially to the less privileged ones in the society. They can now sleep with both eyes closed unlike the high cost of university courses nowadays. I agree with you…!

    Reply
  5. ONUOHA on

    If my country can consider the merits of MOOC, my country’s standard of eduction will have something to write home about.! Good article friend

    Reply
  6. Sunday Wellington on

    Arinze…..you are talented indeed. Am not surprise because you have been doing it. You will win the essay. Keep it up!

    Reply
  7. Mr Benedict on

    Good one son…..you are really industrious! I love you for that. You have surprised me with this one…..you have been doing it. I love your work.!

    Reply
  8. Coker Mabel on

    Wow!….I went through your essay and found out that you are really great! Keep it up in order to accomplish your dreams. Your article is wonderful

    Reply
  9. Edwin Arinze John on

    Oh my God! Am really grateful to you all for u optimum support. You people are really wonderful. I will never let you people down. Thanks

    Reply
  10. Professor Elias Igwe on

    Well, my son, the much I have to tell you here is never to back slide in your academic endeavours. You are such a brilliant boy, the tone and quality of your argument gives me joy. You are wonderful! God will always direct you.

    Reply
  11. Rebecca Chime on

    Edwin, I knew you from origin. Your essay is comprehensible, readable, in fact, “perfect”. If am to mark this essay, I will give you 99 over 100. I enjoyed it. My Husband wants to see you over this essay. You are great indeed. That’s my son! Am happy for you.


    Reply
  12. Maxwell Felix on

    Yes! I agreed with you hook,line and sinker. MOOCs are the future of higher education. They increase the number of people who are willing to study but were poor. They gives hope to the less privileged. You are absolutely right. Best One so far.

    Reply
  13. Grace Ify on

    Arinze…….I think its high time you wrote your own text book. I have came across many of your articles,and they worth publishing,you are awesomely correct and focused. This one is really wonderful……I love it

    Reply
  14. Helen Azubogu on

    MY S.P…….indeed, you are wonderful. Right from our time in secondary school, you are such a talented writer.,…..in fact, you deserve the prize. I enjoyed your article..all that you said was candid. Well done MY S.P.

    Reply
  15. GRADE 12 STUDENTS on

    You are indeed our mentor….You have proved to us again who you are. We love your article. Our God will always be with you. Good article Sir.

    Reply
  16. Pavy Chuka on

    Aah! Just like what i always pray for, something encouraging to always go across…as the word GOOD is always good, this INSPIRATIONAL art in black and white is indeed inspirational, and bet me its really up to par..more powers to your elbow, you are on the right track!…so said I

    Reply
  17. Kelvin on

    You are an icon……what an educating and impressive article. No matter the number of likes and comments you get here, your essay is the best so far……the tone and standard of your argument with tangible points. In fact you are great indeed! More grease to your elbow!!

    Reply
  18. James Ike on

    Wow!……you just said it all. That’s true. MOOCs are the future for higher education. They help even the poor masses to acquire education.

    Reply
  19. Arinze Edwin on

    Thanks to you all!….I really love you people, am here promising to do more. Our God will abundantly reward you people for your support. Thanks and remain blessed. 

    Reply

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