5 Reasons Why Students Should Embrace MOOC Opportunities

The educational arena has been changing with the increased availability of courses offered through MOOCS, Massive Open Online Courses.

I proposed some general information about the advantages of MOOCs, as part of an article on the Birmingham City University School of Computing, Telecommunications and Networks blog.

But these large scale courses, usually delivered around the world for free, are well worth current Computing students taking on top of their normal studies. Here are five reasons why this is the case.

 

Reason 1 – £30,000 Of Education

According to the Times Higher Education, the typical British MOOC costs £30,000 to develop and deliver. That’s a substantial amount of money being invested to provide high quality materials.

Reason 2 – Employability

Showing additional skills on a CV are always worthwhile, particularly when these are not skills already covered on the course. This shows an interest in learning beyond the academic qualification and a willingness to develop new skills.

Reason 3 – Alternative Delivery Style

Regarding of how well any academic module is delivered, there will always be people who will benefit from alternative presentations of the material and different examples. Having access to these further videos and learning materials is useful.

Reason 4 – Getting Ahead

Term time at university can be intensive, with many new subjects to study. By scheduling in preparation during the vacation periods, and using the MOOC provided materials, this can help to ensure a better understanding, and subsequently higher marks in the official university modules.

Reason 5 – Not Just Lecture Recordings

A good MOOC is structured to work successfully for online learning with large numbers of participants from the outset. Kevin Werbach relayed his experiences of what it takes to develop a successful MOOC. These are more than just recordings of lectures, more carefully crafted content along with activities and a largely supportive community. This helps the self-selecting MOOC learners to be successful.

 

MOOCs Are Valuable

All the evidence points to MOOCs being valuable and being set to have a big impact on the way that education is delivered. Sure, they can’t completely replace a taught caught, with the structured learning environment and valued qualification, but they can add to the overall experience.  I recommend that students explore MOOCs to see how they can add value to what they are studying.

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Article by Thomas Lancaster

I am an experienced Computer Science academic, best known for research work into academic integrity, plagiarism and contract cheating. I have held leadership positions in several universities, with specialty in student recruitment and keen interest in working in partnership with students. Please browse around the blog and the links, and feel free to leave your thoughts.
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