Leveraging MOOCs For Affordable Skill Acquisition

You are probably wondering what a MOOC is, and we’ll tell you right off the bat: massive open online courses (more about that in a second). In today’s world, knowledge is getting increasingly democratized, allowing more people from all over the world, in places with the internet, to learn topics they don’t have easy access to.

With Studybay com, for instance, students can get online assistance from an essay helper, covering a wide range of writing services, including not just essays help but also assignments, research, papers, and more academic writing. This helps MOOC learners round out their ability to complete courses in an appropriate amount of time and approach them the right way.

The concept of MOOCs was the brainchild of edX, the open online course provider created by Harvard and MIT. It hosts online university-level courses in a wide range of subjects for students worldwide, including some courses at no charge.

In this article, we look at how you can leverage MOOCs to gain the necessary skills, improve your employability, save money on tutoring, and enhance personal and professional development.

Leveraging MOOCs For Affordable Skill Acquisition

MOOCs Briefly Explained

As we have mentioned, MOOCs are courses delivered online and accessible to all for free. The letters stand for:

Massive Enrollments are unlimited and can easily reach hundreds of thousands of students
Open Anyone can enroll, meaning there is no dealing with bureaucratic admissions processes
Online The courses are delivered to students via the Internet
Course Students go through courses that teach specific subjects/topics/disciplines

MOOCs leverage pre-recorded video classes, discussion forums, assessments, readings, and other material that can be delivered via the Internet. Students can also leverage the same tools to get essay help and additional educational material from other services that help augment the learning process.

Learners in MOOCs are tested using methods that include auto-graded quizzes, which are graded upon submission, as well as peer-feedback assignments that are graded by other learners using specific guidance.

If you are wondering about cost, there are two enrollment options, including:

  • Paid enrollment This gives you access to all the content, including paywalled elements like the certification that proves completion.
  • Free auditing This option gives you access to videos, readings, and forums for free.

Now, let’s dive into it.

How To Leverage MOOCs For Skills Acquisition

The process of finding a MOOC that suits your passion, interests, and needs requires some searching, but with the tools available to you, it is relatively easy to sieve out the most appropriate options. How do you go about doing that? Let’s talk about it:

1. Identify Your Goals And Interests

Before you start, you have to have a clear goal and interest in mind. What would you like to improve on or learn? Which topics are you passionate and curious about? How will the skills translate to your personal and professional development?

Knowing the answers to these questions is a great way to determine the next steps to give you the best and most rewarding experience in the online learning environment. It is also a compass to help you identify the resources best suited to help you achieve those goals.

2. Search For MOOCs That Match Your Goals And Interests

Many MOOCs try to offer students as much as possible, each with different deliveries, levels of access, and comprehensiveness. When you know precisely what you would like to achieve at the end of your course, it is easy to pick which courses are best placed to serve you.

You can leverage platforms like Class Central or MOOC List to compare thousands of MOOCs from various providers, including edX, Coursera, Udacity, FutureLearn, and more. You can use filter functions to sort by level, language, duration, subject, etc.

3. Compare The MOOCs

Armed with a list of MOOCs aligned with your interests and goals, you can choose the one that ticks the most items on your checklist. For this, you can read course descriptions to know what to expect, check out ratings by past students, and review the syllabi for an overview of what you may learn.

As you do this, take care to note other pertinent details like the course fees, deadlines, any certifications offered, and prerequisites.

4. Enroll

Once you are confident you have the course that suits your interests, it’s time to start learning! Here, you must enroll to access the course materials, including any eBooks, videos, assignments, quizzes, and more.

The best part is that you can access the material and learn at any time and place, provided you have an internet connection.

5. Complete The MOOCs To Earn Certification

On most MOOCs, you will be provided a dashboard or feedback system to track your progress and performance. This is the part where you complete classes and are tasked with writing essays, assignments, or papers.

In the end, you can earn certificates and other credentials that can be used in job applications, provided they come from a well-known and highly regarded provider and are often viewed favorably by employers.

The Benefits Students Get From MOOCs

Some of the most cited benefits by students of MOOCs include:

  • The opportunity to access high-quality course content from elite universities and institutions around the world, which may not be available or affordable to many learners around the world.
  • The ability to learn at their own pace, time, and place and choose the courses that suit their interests, needs, and goals.
  • Access to interactive and engaging learning experiences, such as videos, quizzes, assignments, discussions, peer feedback, etc.
  • Empowering learners to receive certificates or credentials upon completing the courses, which can be used to demonstrate their skills and competencies to higher education.

In addition to these benefits, many are offered for free, opening up the world of education to many who may not be able to add to their current skill levels or need more skills to change their lives.

The Challenges

MOOCs are not without some challenges, some of which you can extrapolate from how lessons are delivered. Some of the main challenges include:

  • The need for appropriate devices (laptops, desktops, tablets, etc.), internet access, and digital literacy skills may not be true for many interested learners.
  • The absence of local relevance and context for learners, as courses may not address their specific problems, needs, or cultures.
  • MOOCs face low completion and retention rates, because learners often face various barriers or distractions that affect their ability to see the course through.
  • The fact that not all employers or educational institutions view MOOCs’ accreditations and certifications favorably, as they may not meet their quality standards or expectations.

Even with all these challenges, there are some ways they are being mitigated.

Leveraging MOOCs For Affordable Skill Acquisition

Meeting The Challenges

The challenges faced have a slew of solutions that either eliminate the problem or work towards mitigating it in the most feasible way. Some of the solutions to the challenges we mentioned include:

  • Providing offline or blended learning options for learners who have limited or unreliable internet access or devices (mobile phones, radios, USB drives, or DVDs) to deliver content or support.
  • Adapting or customizing MOOC content to suit the local needs, contexts, and cultures of learners in EDR, including using local languages, case studies, samples, and teachers.
  • Enhancing learner assistance and guidance throughout the MOOC journey using mentors, tutors, peers, services (like an online essay helper), or communities to provide feedback, assistance, and encouragement.
  • Cultivating partnerships and collaborations with local employers or educational institutions to recognize and validate MOOC certificates or credentials to create pathways or credits that open up education or employment opportunities.

Learning Is More Accessible Than Ever

Even as MOOCs strive to make education accessible to more people at affordable rates, you will still need to invest significant amounts of time and some money to get credentials you can use for a job.

We offer students online assistance with papers, writing assignments, and other research-related tasks to help augment what they already know and enhance the learning experience.

With these main issues taken care of, MOOCs not only become more attractive to interested learners but also offer a way out for those who may not necessarily have educational access but have the internet, as seen in many developing countries around the world.

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