MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, are a valuable resource for independent learners worldwide. According to educator Paulette Chaffee, MOOCs are free courses that can be accessed via the internet and are hosted on a portal where students can work at their own pace to complete the course. Some of the most popular MOOC providers include edX and Coursera, which partner with universities and colleges to build online classes. These providers also offer verified certificate options for many of their MOOCs. If you’re still unsure about the value of MOOCs, Chaffee suggests considering the following five reasons before overlooking the excellent opportunities they provide.
Reason 1. Get ahead in school and work
MOOCs offer a valuable opportunity for learners to fill in any gaps in their education, whether it’s in school or in the workplace. They are an ideal option for self-motivated students who want to improve specific areas of their academics to achieve their goals, whether it’s to get a better grade or a job promotion. They are also a valuable resource for professionals looking to level up their skills in order to secure a specific job or advance in their careers. The best part? MOOCs are free and accessible to anyone, making them a cost-effective alternative to expensive tutors.
Reason 2. Get a head start in a specialization
Choosing a major can be a daunting task for many college students. The good news is that the decision doesn’t have to be made until sophomore year at a four-year college, providing some breathing room for students to explore their options. MOOCs provide a valuable resource for students who are still deciding on a major, allowing them to test out different classes in subjects of interest before making a final decision. Additionally, high school students can take advantage of MOOCs to gain exposure to university-level courses and prepare for higher education. With MOOCs, students have the opportunity to try before they commit, giving them the confidence they need to make a well-informed decision about their major.
Reason 3. Grow a passion
MOOCs provide an almost endless array of options, allowing participants to study virtually anything. The wide range of subjects available enables students and professionals to invest in the skills they need to develop and areas they truly want to grow, including passions and hobbies. Whether it’s learning a new language for free in preparation for a trip or immersing yourself in a culture while learning its native tongue, MOOCs can open up exciting new opportunities and adventures. With such a vast array of options, MOOCs are a great way to expand your skillset and pursue your interests.
Reason 4. Learn alongside students and professionals
MOOCs provide a global learning platform where students can learn alongside a diverse community of other students and professionals. According to Coursera, only 38.5% of students actively taking courses are from the United States. The data also shows that 73% of MOOC students have full-time jobs, 75% have earned bachelor’s degrees, and the average student falls between the age of 25 and 35. These statistics highlight that MOOCs attract a diverse group of learners, including professionals looking to upskill and expand their knowledge base.
Reason 5. Boost resume
MOOCs are a valuable tool for both students and professionals looking to enhance their resumes. By completing MOOCs and earning certifications in specific skills or subjects that are relevant to a career field, individuals can boost their job applications and demonstrate their knowledge and expertise. Some of the most popular MOOCs that can have a significant impact on a resume include Standford University’s machine learning course, University of Michigan’s programming for everybody Python course, Princeton University’s algorithms, part one, Harvard University’s CS50’s introduction to computer science, and Microsoft’s analyzing and visualizing data with Excel, offered through Coursera and edX. By taking these highly sought-after courses, individuals can demonstrate their commitment to learning and skill development, making them stand out to potential employers.
About Paulette Chaffee
Paulette Chaffee is a teacher, speech therapist, and attorney deeply involved in the Fullerton community. As an educator and member of various non-profit boards, her focus has always been on providing children with the highest quality education. Ms. Chaffee holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Redlands, a California Lifetime Teaching Credential, and is admitted to the California Bar.
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