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.