What is a MOOC?
A MOOC is a web-based distance learning program designed to be accessible for large numbers of geographically dispersed students. They offer free enrollment, various curriculum and different types of course objectives. MOOCs incorporate social networking and readily available online resources that top experts conduct on the subject matter. The engagement of students who self-organize their participation based on learning objectives, prior knowledge and abilities, and shared interests is what MOOCs capitalize on most.
MOOC stands for “Massive Open Online Course”:
- Massive: because enrolments can run into hundreds of thousands
- Open: because admission is open to anyone
- Online: because the courses are delivered via the internet
- Course: because their goal is to teach a specific subject
What are the types of MOOC?
1. cMOOC- The MOOC learning in cMOOCs is based on the Connectivism learning theory. This theory emphasizes the idea of connecting with people globally. Also, it facilitates learning from various perspectives and helps focus on achieving objectives. It helps gain knowledge through content published on digital platforms like blogs, learning groups, social media, etc.
2. xMOOC- Extended Massive Open Online Course is referred to as an xMOOC.These MOOC learning are modeled around higher-level teaching methods. The benefit of xMOOCs is that they allow students to enroll in college-level courses. This includes pre-recorded lectures, workbooks, assessments, and offers course certificates.
How do MOOCs work?
MOOCs consist of traditional class materials that are made accessible online, and may include the following:
- Live or recorded video lectures
- Problem sets
- Online quizzes and examinations
- Interactive learning modules
- Interaction with other students via forums
Where can you take MOOCs?
Universities create MOOCs, but instead of distributing it themselves, they rely on course providers such as:
- Canvas Network
What are the benefits of MOOCs?
1. No dependence on physical location
This can reduce a student’s time spent commuting and improve collaboration efforts. In the current world scenario, online education also enables social distancing.
2. Access to higher education
Students and learners in developing countries obtain improved access to high-quality education, which can ultimately increase quality of life, and contribute to efforts of creating a sustainable, high-quality, and accessible learning infrastructure.
3. Affordability of higher education
The scalability of MOOCs makes the courses more cost-effective.
4. Flexible learning schedule
MOOCs are most commonly self-paced, and can accommodate student work schedules. Even if course completion is not self-paced, as with online degree programs, prerecorded lectures can offer more flexibility on a daily and weekly basis.
What are the drawbacks of MOOCs?
Though MOOCs have some convenient benefits, there are the following associated drawbacks:
- Some students require the structure of in-person learning. This can make the flexibility component more difficult to manage.
- Students may not feel committed to attend online or even free online courses as they would an in-person course.
- Less accessibility to instructors.
- The effective use of MOOCs requires digital literacy.
- Students are less likely to form relationships with instructors and other students.
- General MOOCs may lack accommodation for students with visual or auditory disabilities.
- Courses may require strong internet connectivity, which can be an issue in developing countries and underprivileged communities.
- When searching for the right course, large amounts of similar courses for saturated areas may lead to a paradox of choice.