Saturday, 18 January 2014

MOOCs: A Cheaper Alternative To Higher Education

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MOOCs are certainly taking the world of education by storm. They are providing keen students a platform to continue their education. MOOCs are becoming so popular that some of the biggest universities have agreed to provide backing for many of their courses. Students these days are looking for cheaper alternative to colleges and universities as college fees are going up by the day and some students can’t travel to universities to earn their education. Through MOOCs, they can sit at home and complete their higher education.

 Here are a few interesting facts about MOOCs.

  • Just four months after the launch, Coursera had a million users signed up
  • In a MOOC, 61.5 percent of the students who enrol are from countries outside USA
  • Coursera presently has 62 universities partnering them and a total of 3.3 million students who have enrolled from over 196 countries
  • Out of the students who have enrolled, 70 percent already have a bachelor’s degree or higher qualifications
  • Countries like China, Brazil, India, UK and Canada boast of a high percentage of student enrolments
  • Out of all the students enrolled, at least 50 percent are of the age 26 or more
  • 80 percent of the students take these online courses for credit
  • A downside of MOOCs is that, they do not offer credits. However, that may change very soon
  • MOOCs don’t require tuition fees, meaning, they are free and around 86 percent of MOOCs do not require text books
Professors who teach at MOOCs

  • 2/3 of the professors are tenured
  • 73 percent of the professors who teach at MOOCs own the content of their courses
  • A majority of the professors teaching at MOOCs have teaching experience of 10 years or more
  • The professors who teach at MOOCs spend 100 hours in prepping for each class
  • To make higher education more attainable, 71.8 percent of professors taught a MOOC
  • The professors who teach at a MOOC spend about eight hours, each week, ‘in class’
  • 50 percent of the professors think that online classes have the same difficulty level as traditional classes but 70 percent do not agree with the fact that the students ought to get credit from their home institute
  • Every class has around 33,000 students enrolled in it

The year 2012 came to be known as the year of the MOOC as the foundation rose rapidly in that one year. Critics may say that MOOCs are unreliable but supporters believe that MOOCs will change the face of the education system. Some also believe that MOOC is the future of education. A student, who attends a traditional college, spends hundreds on textbooks but 86 percent of the professors don’t even require text books, making the MOOC a cheaper option for students.

Majority of the professors who teach at MOOCs say that they had to change the way they taught in class after teaching at MOOCs and the change was for the better. So basically, MOOCs are on a high and very soon will become a ‘complete’ institution, changing the face of education.