MOOCs

A Massive Open Online Course is a course provided on web which has open access and unlimited participation. MOOCs are game changers for higher education, large scale availability, low cost to students and the questions raised  by the students, all create a momentum to new pathways for education. MOOCs may not be an end game but it certainly has got a lot of us in the game . It indicates that how important it is for people to connect with each other  as a part of their learning experience .The common theme about  MOOCs is connectedness. I think it can work really good because now a days it is not about getting only the information but also about connecting the with each other while getting it. As most of the students using  MOOCs are not enrolled in any college, it shows that, lots of people are taking it just for personal enrichment. So it is very  convenient for students of any kind of age groups and working background. So in a way it has connected higher education workplace and life long learning.(EDUCAUSE LIBRARY WEB PAGE). On the other hand even though you can share any kind of information or a problem using  MOOCs but is it nothing like a conventional class room where physical presence and face to face communication make difficult  things very easier.

 Stanford artificial-intelligence professor Sebastian Thrun, expressed grand hopes when he co-founded Udacity. Thrun saw MOOCs as the start of a teaching revolution where the world’s best professors would run interactive on line classes that would reach hundreds of thousands of students around the world. To attract students, Thrun wanted the earliest classes to be offered for free. He said that Udacity  would break down economic, geographic, racial and gender barriers to higher education. He also said that, he saw on line courses as more effective than traditional classroom lecture classes. But recently Thrun himself said that the MOOCs are not effective for undergraduate studies after all.  Around the world, the study found, it was the economic elite who were taking  MOOCs. In Brazil, China and South Africa, 80% of MOOC  students came from the richest 6% of the population. Of course MOOC students need to have access to computers with fast Internet connections, which automatically throws up a bar to the poor. When some one asked him recently about the future of Udacity in next five years this is what he said “the thing I’m insanely proud of right now is I think we’ve found the magic formula, had you asked me three months ago, I wouldn’t have said that. I’m not at the point where everything is great. There are a lot of things to be improved, a lot of mistakes we’re making, but I see it coming together.” (ON LINE  LEARNING INSIGHTS :- BLOG ABOUT OPEN AND ON LINE EDUCATION,   FROBES ARTICLE BY SUSAN ADAMS)

REFERENCES:-

http://www.educause.edu/library/massive-open-online-course-mooc

http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2013/12/11/are-moocs-really-a-failure/

http://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/sebastian-thrun-moocs-not-effective-for-undergraduate-education-after-all/

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