The idea of MOOCs was new to me and so I decided to explore the concept further along with online learning as a whole.
The acronym MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course and aims to provide FREE online access to lectures and courses. Many top universities such as Harvard and MIT have developed their own MOOCs.
“They represent a new generation of online education, freely accessible on the internet and geared towards very large student numbers”
Online learning proves to be a 21st century alternative to traditional education, providing great opportunities despite arguable constraints.
This talk is definitely worth a listen http://vimeo.com/53361649 , it speaks about online learning advantages, one being that it avoids the age old problem arising in classes whereby different students learn at different paces, yet are given the same learning treatment – when online all students get the opportunity to engage fully in the learning material and at their own pace .
My own experience with online learning
I am currently enrolled on a curriculum innovation module which is based mostly online and feel personally this is the best module I’ve participated I, in terms of how it is executed. It gives me the ability to be flexible with my time, working at times that suit mean and when I know I will be most productive. I feel this is one great advantage of online modules, with fewer to no lectures necessary to attend at any particular time, we as students are able to manage our work around our individual lifestyles, furthering and pursuing individual hobbies and interests outside of education. Consequently allowing more time for developing ourselves into more rounded individuals; which is often greatly desired for recruitment purposes; Research by The Undercover Recruiter found “The right skills and experience, along with the ability to “get on with people”, to be among the top 7 reasons recruiters will hire you ; not simply owning a degree. Online learning gives students the time to develop work experience and to gain practice in networking with people in the real world of work, both vital in today’s climate as Huffington Post UK point out that “Graduates Without Work Experience Will Stand ‘Little Chance’ Of Securing Job” .
Furthermore, subsequent to the increased flexibility obtained via online courses/teaching and the ability to more easily pursue self-interests, I believe students will be less stressed overall, healthier and more able to produce work at the best of their ability.
All in all I believe expectations of those who want to learn are and should be changing, as new technology makes new ways possible!