Online Learning Opportunities | Learn Something New Anytime, Anywhere!
The development of technology has a profound effect on society. It also effects the way we learn, broaden our knowledge and develop new skills: Online courses and so called MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have become more and more popular. Universities and educational institutions invested in online learning platforms and offer online learning opportunities, that allow us to engage in topics like computer science, programming, history, business, marketing, philosophy, psychology, meditation, self-development, and many more.
“We teach today’s students
as we taught yesterday’s,
we rob them of tomorrow.”
I nformation and Communications Technology (ICT) has enabled us to interact and communicate, create and innovate, distribute and share in whole new ways. This dynamic shift effect various areas of our personal and professional life and it creates a profound change throughout our society, including the way we learn, broaden our knowledge and develop new skills.
In the last ten years, online courses and so called MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have become more and more popular. Universities, educational institutions, start-ups and companies invested into the development of online learning platforms and online courses. While some online course providers offer paid courses with certificates and degrees, the majority of courses are still available for free, if you just want to access the course material and take part in forum discussions.
Online learning opportunities vary from computer science and programming, Greek or Roman history, creating a business or developing an online marketing strategy, philosophy or psychology, meditation and self-development topics, and many more. To get an impression about the broad variety of subjects, check out the search engines Class Central or CourseTalk .
The Future of Learning and Education
The changes and opportunities that come along with ICT effect also the way we learn and teach. The Future of Learning looks at the potential to redefine education in a netwoked society. Watch here the trailer…
Online Learning Opportunities: Online Courses and MOOCs
A course of study made available over the Internet without charge to a very large number of people.
by Oxford Dictionaries
MOOC stands for…
M is for Massive
O is for Open
O is for Online
C is for Course
MOOCs are courses designed for large numbers of participants, that can be accessed by anyone anywhere as long as they have an internet connection, are open to everyone without entry qualifications, and offer a full/complete course experience online for free.
Definition Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) by OpenupED, 12 March 2015
Free online courses
Anyone can access a free online course without paying a fee. Usually, the course materials, e.g. video lectures, taking part in forum discussions, tests/assignments, etc., are free, but certain features like graded assignments, certificates, and coaching/mentoring throughout the course may require a fee.
Many courses do offer certificates, but they also require you to pay for the certificate. According to Class Central, at the moment, no major MOOC provider offers a free certificate. Certificate costs vary for each MOOC provider.
Certificate Programmes and Specialisations
Although the majority of courses are free, many online course providers offer certificate programmes or specializations, which may include a sequence of courses and/or a final project at the end. Examples are Coursera’s “Specializations”, edX’s “XSeries” or Udacity’s “Nanodegrees.”
cMOOC vs xMOOC
A cMOOC emphasizes the connectivist philosophy: it focusses on collaboration and sharing and building knowledge within a community of people. cMOOCs share many similarities with non-formal learning. (Read also my article Experiental. Self-directed. Intercultural. Non-formal Learning meets Online Learning) An xMOOC follows a more traditional model of education, based on lectures recorded in videos. (Source: Desarrollo Web)
Online Learning Platforms | Online Course Providers
5 major online course providers
Several universities as well as universities or educational institutions together with start-up companies developed platforms that offer a broad variety of online courses. Right now four names are the ones to know:
Founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012, edX is an online learning destination and MOOC provider, offering online courses from more than 90 universities and institutions. edx is founded and governed by colleges and universities. It is both nonprofit and open source.
edX | Website
Coursera was founded in 2012 by two Stanford Computer Science professors Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng. Since then, coursera grew into an online course provider that collaborates with almost 150 universities and educational institutions and is therefore able to offer more than 2000 courses in different languages. Most courses are for free, however if learners would like to obtain a sharable course certificate they have to pay a fee.
Coursera | Website
Unlike other providers of MOOCs, it has said it will focus all of its courses on computer science and related fields. Udacity was an outgrowth of a Stanford University experiment in which Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig offered their ‘Introduction to Artificial Intelligence’ course online for free in which over 160,000 students in more than 190 countries enrolled.
FutureLearn is a private company (owned by The Open University), partnering with major UK and international universities, as well as educational institutions such as the British Council, the British Library, the British Museum, and the National Film and Television School.
FutureLearn | Website
iversity is an online learning platform for higher education and professional development courses provided by experts from all over Europe.
iversity | Website
Courses, video lectures and tutorials
Khan Academy began in 2006 as an online library of short instructional videos from Salman Khan. It now offers practice exercises and instructional videos about math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more. Kahn Academy partnered with institutions like NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT to offer specialized content.
Khan Academy | Website
Learning and teaching online
An open, online course network that connects students, teachers & institutions. Canvas Network provides a learning management system for higher education, K-12, and workforce users worldwide.
Canvas Network | Website
Udemy is a marketplace for learning and teaching online. Learners can choose a course from a library of over 55,000 courses, explore new topics and develop new skills, while authors / course instructors can offer their video courses (free/paid courses).
Udemy | Website
Skillshare describes himself as an online learning community where anyone can discover and take online courses and/or teach a subject to others. Monthly subscription.
Skillshare | Website
Searching Online Courses
You can browse each website of an online course provider or subscribe to their newsletter services. Or, you can browse course lists and search engines, that specialize on (free) open online courses.
Search engine and reviews site for MOOCs and free online courses.
Class Central | Website
Navigate online courses on Computer Science, Business, Design, Data Science, Humanities and check out courses through student reviews.
CourseTalk | Website
More than 1,300 free online courses listed from universities and educational institutions, e.g. Stanford, Yale, MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, Oxford and many more…
Open Culture | Website
MOOCs and Free Online Courses from Coursera, edX, FutureLearn, OpenClassrooms and other providers and Universities. Search from a list of pcoming classes (for the next 30 days).
MOOC List | Website
Online Learning and Connected Learning
A short video about MOOCs and the connected age.
by EDUCAUSE SPRINT, 2013