MOOCs are one of the things that have transformed learning opportunities. They provide access to a vast range of courses from recognised learning institutions across the world. You can use these courses to enhance your career.
What are MOOCs?
MOOCs are Mass Open Online Courses. They are offered through the internet from well-known and respected learning places. They can be undertaken at no cost (no certificate) or at a minimal cost (with certificate issues on satisfactory completion of course requirements).
Many people enrol in MOOCs and don’t complete them. I don’t think that matters. You pull the learning towards you, and complete as much of it as you want, as suits your purpose. If certificates are important, then purchase them. The MOOCs I have completed have offered them at very reasonable prices. If you undertake a specialisation, which includes a few different MOOCs together, the cost is higher.
Is it effective learning?
Many people wonder at the effectiveness of online learning. I have found that there has been good design in the courses I have done. They have a good mix of delivery methods – videos, quizzes, readings, activities. You can join forums and online discussions, and work with people across the globe. If face-to-face learning is important for you, organise some friends or colleagues to do the same course and you can get together for study group sessions.
How to make MOOCs work for you
Selecting the right course is important. Different courses offer different levels of depth in content but mostly there is extensive course information on-line. Feedback is available through comments from people who have completed them. Some websites will rate the courses as well. Some of these include:
- Top 10 Sites for Free Education With Elite Universities
Courses are offered across a range of disciplines. These include Data Science, Business, Computer Science and Social Sciences. There is likely to be something that would provide an opportunity to expand your skill set and/or career profile.
Using your time well. Courses have variable time-commitments. Pick out the sections that are important to you. Download podcasts and vodcasts to review while commuting. Choose the items of interest and leave the rest. You can always go back at a later date and complete the course, or do it again. Usually you have access to the course and its materials for a period of time following the completion date of the course.
There’s never been more free- or nearly-free quality educational resources available to anyone with an internet connection.
~ Frick, Walter. 2016
Frick, Walter. 3 Ways to Use MOOCs to Advance Your Career. Harvard Business Review. 26 July 2016.