Developing a Learning Culture

MOOC 101: Who, What, Where and When

Believe the hype: While saying the name out loud might make you laugh (it’s pronounced “mūk”) MOOCs – massive open online courses – have made a serious impression on the education scene. And while they may not be perfected yet, MOOCs can be added to learning plans as supplemental education, particularly in training and flipped classroom models. By learning more about MOOCs you can decide if and when they’ll fit into your curriculum.

The Major Benefits of MOOC

The best part about MOOCs? They’re usually completely free. That means if you’re short on cash but still need to round out a program, you can utilize MOOCs as a way to stuff more knowledge into the course without going over budget. MOOCs can also contribute to a more personalized approach to blended learning, particularly if some learners are quicker studies and require more information than others. Participating in a MOOC also means saving time – a five-minute video can be as effective as a 60-minute lecture.

Some Disadvantages…

Okay, so they’re not perfect. Since anyone can create and market a MOOC, you may not always get the best quality education. And, while some MOOC courses offer certificates of completion, they still have a long way to go before the courses are recognized as an alternative to formal brick-and-mortar education, which can be an issue if you’re hoping that a MOOC will result in an accredited acknowledgment of completion.

Incorporating MOOCs Into Your Lifestyle

When you already have a course or curriculum in place. MOOCs are the ideal supplement to other teaching methods. When using a flipped classroom model, for instance, you could have students participate in a MOOC on their own time and come to class ready to discuss. Or, if a learner needs to brush up on a concept, it can be done on his own schedule without taking up class time.