The Bear Facts

Filed under The Futurist

MOOCs: A growing alternative education

Massive+Online+Open+Courses+are+becoming+a+popular+way+to+obtain+education+for+free.+
Back to Article
Back to Article

MOOCs: A growing alternative education

Massive Online Open Courses are becoming a popular way to obtain education for free.

Massive Online Open Courses are becoming a popular way to obtain education for free.

photo by Paul Barnhill

Massive Online Open Courses are becoming a popular way to obtain education for free.

photo by Paul Barnhill

photo by Paul Barnhill

Massive Online Open Courses are becoming a popular way to obtain education for free.

Advertisement

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






In the age of sky-high college tuition rates, needing a college degree to get far in a career seems to ring true more than ever. Virginia in-state tuition is around $25,000 a year with room and board for most public universities, and out-of-state tuitions cost almost double that on average. The hour rate for an undergraduate class at UVA is $334. More and more students are turning to community college and the chains of student loans to try to make their way through upper education. The cost of this knowledge is simply astronomical.

Thanks to the internet, a more affordable way to learn is here. MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) are lectured by the same accredited professors who teach these classes at universities such as Harvard, Stanford, University of Virginia, University of Washington, and countless more. They generally include assignments where students are required to apply what they learn from the lectures, whether it’s a programming assignment, a business case study or something else. These assignments are then usually peer graded. The cost of participating in one of these classes? Absolutely nothing.

While these classes don’t give any sort of credit or degree, the experience and knowledge they provide can come in handy when applying to college classes or future jobs. It could be the thing that gets an aspiring worker’s foot in the door for their first job. Moreover, many of these classes are high-quality and contain thorough material along with additional reading to really absorb the information.

“You feel like you are sitting next to someone, and they are tutoring you,” Jacqueline Spiegel, a mother of three who has enrolled in multiple MOOCs, said to the New York Times.

MOOCs come in a timed format with deadlines to encourage productivity and a self-paced format. If learning is the end goal, then it can be done whether somebody has one or 10 free hours a week for it.

Much of what is covered is the exact same information found in official college courses. When I took a class called Foundations of Business Strategy by Professor Michael Lenox of UVA, I learned how to analyze a business via various factors to see if it would succeed or if changes to its business plan would be needed. The information was incredibly well presented, and I was surprised by how much I actually took away from the course.

MOOCs aren’t for everyone, such as the student who needs a lot of one-on-one instruction, but when you don’t have to pay for these classes, why not give them a try? You may learn something useful.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
Navigate Right