One of the latest trends in online education are MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses. MOOCs are online courses aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the internet. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings, and problem sets, MOOCs provide an interactive user forum that help build a community for students, and instructors.
While still in its infancy, there are already several companies that starting to get their head around this idea from non-profit organizations such The Khan Academy and duoLingo (which I already blogged about HERE), to the “For Profit” groups such as Coursera and Udemy. In fact, Universities are starting to pick up on this and create content that is deliverable – and usually free. In some cases, you even receive a Certificate of Completion (usually for a fee – such as the University of Maryland and its ). I currently am in taking Building an Information Risk Management Toolkit from University of Washington (via Coursera). I personally find it interesting and easy way to keep my continuing education going.
I now think things are going to change, as Google is starting to get involved – and we know what the end result usually is.
First, Google announced their “Making Sense of Data” MOOC, running from March 18th through April 4th. The aim of the course is to teach the general public how to understand surveys, research and data – plus teach students how to uses Google Fusion Tables. Those who complete the do have the option to receive recognition via a Certificate of Completion.
Here is the intro vid to pique your interests, or you can sign up at g.co/datasense –
The next foray into MOOCs from Google is a little more under the radar – Oppia, and interactive online activities tool that will enable students to learn by doing (remember 70/20/10?). An open source project with moderate funding from Google, allows teachers to create a learning paths called “Explorations” for students called that recognizes answers and reacts to them. As a Collaborative and OpenSource project, others can create content and tools that help drive the product forward.
Education continues to change – from content to delivery. As more and more Universities test the water by contributing content, and organizations such as Google begin backing the process, we really are starting to branch out and provide a great experience at low (or no) cost to students all over the world.
I can’t imagine what things will be like with @JAM_Bell gets to college – as even his dream school, the University of Notre Dame, is offering free MOOC style resources through the OpenCourseWare Consortium.