How (MOOCs) are Changing the eLearning Landscape
Coursera. Lynda.com. The Khan Academy. edX. All of these online learning platforms are disrupting the way we think about education. People from all over the world can now take courses at Harvard, Columbia, and other Ivy League schools. And most of these online classes are free.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are bringing elite education to the masses. Classes can be taken as part of a continuing education program, for certain types of college credit or pre-requisites, or just to enhance one’s general knowledge about a particular subject.
MOOCs have become increasingly popular over the last several years. Here are a few reasons that this type of online education is gaining a huge fan base among those eager to learn.
One of the greatest benefits of MOOCs is affordability. While some classes do involve a fee, the majority of them are free. Most continuing education courses at universities or even state and local community colleges charge a fee. The opportunity to take the same course that students at Harvard are taking – taught by the same instructor – is now available to people of all income levels. It is in this way that MOOCs are leveling the playing field when it comes to affordable education.
Pre-recorded classes allow students the ability to learn at their own pace and when it’s convenient. Busy parents can continue their education when children go to sleep. People working full time can take classes on their lunch break or during their commutes. Having the flexibility to learn on one’s own schedule prevents burn out and makes it easier to find the time for continuous self-improvement.
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MOOCs offer worldwide access to the greatest instructors at some of the most prestigious learning institutions. Someone studying Computer Science in Fiji can take a class at MIT. Anyone living in the United States can “study abroad” at Oxford or The University of Tokyo. Aside from possible language barriers, there really is no limit when it comes to being an educated citizen of the world.
The majority of people who enroll in MOOCs do so for career advancement. Others are continuing their education online so they can gain the latest software or technology skills in order to move up in their current job. With technology developing and changing at lightning speed, it is imperative to stay up-to-date not only with the current skills required for your job, but to anticipate the next big technological advancement and be prepared. This is the real key to job security.
More and more companies are using MOOCs as part of their overall employee training programs. These courses are being offered during orientation sessions, for accredited and certificate programs, and as a “learn-as-you-go” resource, with several companies offering an online library of various topics to choose from. Educational resources such as these are viewed as part of a comprehensive benefits package.
Because of the many benefits mentioned above, several startups today are tailoring their products and solutions for the online learning and EdTech market. iTechArt has actually helped two well-known names in the eLearning industry with development projects. We assisted Blackboard in creating a QA automation process and helped Learning.com deal with high-volume traffic and data quantities through an overall performance analysis and recommendations.
Education really is the great equalizer when it comes to success. MOOCs and similar types of remote learning opportunities are truly paving the way for equal opportunity education. And don’t we all wish to live in a highly-educated world?
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