MOOC is a term that’s still new for a lot of people, though the concept of online learning is certainly well established. A MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course, although the term is sometimes also applied to the platforms and companies that offer them. It’s all right there in the name – these are courses designed for a potentially unlimited number of students, available to anyone, via the web.
Some higher learning institutions have their own platforms, although third-party providers have become extremely popular. If you’re new to the MOOC world, some of the big providers are Coursera, edX, Udacity, and FutureLearn, though there are many others. Each has their own strengths, including various pricing and attendance models.
Wait, pricing? Yeah, “open” does not mean “free” – with some exceptions. Allow me to explain: this gets back to what you want to get out of it. If you just want the knowledge, you can enroll in a great many courses free of charge. For most, there’s a fee generally in the $150 ballpark to receive a certificate of completion. Additionally, and optionally, courses can be cobbled together into a “micro degree” or even full degree programs. Specifics vary by platform, as well as by the licensing terms of the content creator.
Let’s talk about those content creators. Harvard, Georgia Tech, Penn State, Stanford– the list is long and impressive. Many respected institutions are on-board, and you’ll be able to tap into those resources at a very low point of entry, and find content tailored to exactly what you want to learn.
What is the Role of MOOCs in Avanceon’s Learning Framework?
We recognize that our professionals want to continue learning and growing long after the cap and gown are put away, and we’re well aware of the return benefits. MOOCs provide top-notch, pre-built, standardized learning on a wide variety of subjects. Take management or leadership, for example. There are dozens, if not hundreds of useful courses, ready to go at a moment’s notice. That allows Avanceon to focus on internal courses that are specific to our culture and organization.
Stay tuned for Part 3 of this series, in which I’ll talk about creating a Learning Management System for Avanceon. In case you missed it, here is Part 2 “Building a Culture of Continuous Learning – Part 1”.
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