MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, have the potential to directly and drastically alter the modern world of education. And, presently, they are on the rise. As these courses become more widely recognized and accepted and start counting the same as regular university courses, they are destined to change traditional college in several ways.
1. The classes are open to everyone
Unlike university classes, which a person has to be admitted to a specific university to take, MOOCs are open to everybody. Regardless of whether or not you have a high school diploma, you can take all kinds of classes being taught by professors and aided by TAs and other students. This, in turn, alters the entire dynamic of our current educational system. You would no longer have to be “in school” to commit yourself to learning all different kinds of things, but rather you can go to school on your own time and catch up in ways never thought possible.
2. MOOCs offer more diverse courses that traditional colleges wouldn’t offer
If you’ve ever been a student at a university, you’ve noticed a class that got offered but only 25-30 people enrolled in and, because of this, was cancelled. With MOOCs, that is a thing of the past. MOOCs enroll students from all over the world, wherever there is an internet connection, so there is almost never a shortage of demand for courses.
3. MOOCs won’t kick someone out of a class because it is over-enrolled
On the other side of the coin, no matter how many people are enrolled in a class, everyone will be allowed to take it. That’s the “massive” part of Massive Open Online Courses. There is no classroom and the resources for the class are online, so there is no reason why a student who is devoted to learning the material would not be able to take the course. In direct contrast to traditional university courses, any number of people can take the same course at the same time, from 100 to 1,000 to 10,000 people. The possibilities in that area are endless.
4. Lower costs
As we all know, the cost of a university education is rising rapidly and continuously, and it doesn’t show many signs of slowing down as tuition costs continue to rise all around the world. But MOOCs break this mold, offering an affordable education to anyone who is willing to learn the material. There is a low demand for external costs, as everything is performed via Internet, and thus it is unnecessary to charge excess tuition to the students. This will open education up to all kinds of people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it without immense amounts of debt piled up from student loans.
5. You can take classes from the comfort of your own home
Because of the fact that the classes are offered online, people will be able to take these classes from wherever they want, whenever they want. You can take the class sitting in your bed; you can take the class from a hotel room; you can take the class in a Starbucks. There is no limit on where you can go, and there are few limits on what you can learn.
This article was contributed by John Monts, content writer for www.LiftEducation.org. John is an avid blogger and is currently studying Political Science and Economics at UC Davis.