The concept of distance education was already commonly known, but what Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) did, was to ensure accessibility to everyone and anyone in the world. Of course, digital literacy is a major driving force behind the rise in the popularity of MOOCs so there is still a long way ahead. However, the fact remains that MOOCs have made education an option for everyone so long as they want to gain from it.
Today, one can find hundreds of MOOCs on the Internet. Many of them have been largely recognized by well-renowned universities and institutions and have become integral in resume-building as well. But, before anything else, it is necessary to know why these MOOCs are such a big deal. Yes, there are many pertinent issues with respect to MOOCs but those do not undermine their contribution to global education.
So, read along and you shall how MOOCs changed the world of education.
Availability of content to learners
One of the best features of MOOCs is that they offer free content accessibility to learners. This has helped learners from across the globe to be able to grasp information that otherwise often comes at a price. Not everyone is in the position to pay up for these study materials, and the availability of the same for free encourages learners to tailor their learning routine and build upon the information gained.
MOOCs are basically components of self-organized learning. All of these courses are self-paced which means they don’t usually come with deadlines, and the learner has the flexibility to complete the course as per his timeline. This flexibility helps in attracting learners beyond school and colleges because participants are not hard-pressed to complete the course. There may be, however, deadlines imposed subject to certain conditions; for instance when the learner can receive the certificate only upon finishing the course within a stipulated period of time.
Many respected universities have joined the bandwagon
There are already many platforms where one can sign up for any of these MOOCs such as Coursera, Future Learning, and Edx. On these platforms, you will find MOOCs being offered by many reputed universities such as Harvard, IIT, MIT, and Todai. In fact, these universities such as Harvard have started offering MOOCs available on their websites and which deal with a plethora of subject areas. The benefit of these MOOCs is apparent; learners become acquainted with the parameters of education in respective universities, and the universities get to reach out to more audiences.
Educating the developing world
Not everyone can go to Oxford, and it becomes all the more challenging for learners from less developed countries to avail of the educational experiences in such institutions. The development of MOOCs has allowed these learners to overcome socio-economic barriers and access education delivered by many highly ranked universities. In fact, many MOOCs from such universities are globally recognized and can be added to one’s resume. To create and sustain an educated society, it is essential that quality education is not restricted to the privileged – and MOOCs are a step forward in that direction.
Enabling continuing education
If you’d ask me, there is no end to education. Whether or not you join a university following school, you will continue learning in one way or another. I have known IT experts who haven’t got a university degree and are doing amazingly. What MOOCs do is, offer an opportunity to keep building on the existing knowledge, add new information and not hinder the process of learning. You are a data scientist but want to explore human rights law can, without any technical impediment, pursue an online course and obtain certification.
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