Tonawanda News —
They’re called “Massive Online Open Courses,” or MOOCs for short, and the reason for the name is that if you enroll, you may have hundreds of thousands of classmates from all over the world.
From what I read online, including student reviews, the classes are not easy, but they’re designed to be engaging and there are quizzes repeatedly to make sure everyone is keeping up.
Nobody knows if there’s money to be made here. Some schools may be offering a certificate of completion for each class for a fee, and some are cautious to say that you won’t be able to get a full degree for free online. But when I emailed a representative from Coursera she told me this: “The aim of Coursera is to bring education to the world, regardless of factors such as socioeconomic status or geographic location. By providing free access to world-class professors, we’re creating opportunities for people who may never have had access to higher education to learn alongside students at some of the top institutions in the world.”
The Coursera platform is also being used by universities to enhance learning on campus.
But, the bottom line is this concept is world changing. People everywhere can choose to learn. And all the top schools are signing on.
Students won’t be able to get a degree that way. But, imagine how proud you’d be, or I’d be, if we were able to complete a tough class given by a Harvard professor.
And think about how good that completed class is going to look on your resume.
My sons are both saddled with thousands in college debt. And I think every dollar was well spent. As my mom always said, education is never wasted.
But college education is getting more prohibitive each year. Like health care, the cost of an advanced degree keeps rising. But in one fell swoop the Internet has leveled the playing field.