MOOCs…A New Way to Educate?
Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) are a new type of college or secondary education that are starting to pop up across the U.S. The Kansas City Star had a great article about MOOCs earlier in January.
What is a MOOC?
MOOCs — massive open online courses — have attracted millions of students from all over the globe to learn from top professors at elite universities such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford, Princeton and Harvard.The best part is that MOOCs are free. All you need is time, a computer and the Internet.
The courses are anywhere from 5 to 16 weeks long. A person can take whatever classes they like and pertains to what they may need in their career. Imagine…
A student could take one MOOC taught by an MIT professor, another taught by a professor at Harvard and yet another taught at Duke. In the end, the student could take a discipline-specific assessment, like a bar exam, to get something akin to a license to practice in their field.
We know that with a growing presence of education online the traditional brick-and-motor way of learning is going to have to adapt. A college education won’t be the same in 10-15 years. What if you could get your basic remedial class credits for free and have them transfer. Well…
The Gates Foundation recently put up several hundred thousand dollars toward grants for nine universities to develop remedial MOOCs.
Like anything new, there are still a lot of challenges to work out before it becomes mainstream.
Fort Hays State and Johnson County Community College are among campuses piloting MOOC-like programs and looking for solutions to problems such as how to test, how to grade thousands of essays and exams, and how to prevent cheating.
MOOCs cemented their prominence in the higher education conversation when a 2011 class on artificial intelligence, taught by former Stanford professors Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun, attracted nearly 58,000 students from around the world, more than three times the size of Stanford’s entire student body. Even though fewer than half of them completed the course, it was clear the MOOC’s reach dwarfed anything possible in a classroom or lecture hall.