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Thursday, June 04, 2015

Learn something new with a MOOC!

"MOOCS are having a moment. Massive open online courses, run by some prestigious institutions and often free, include everything from literature and filmmaking to coding and skills for business." reports Claire Mason in High 50.

'Creative Coding' - free online course on

A short while ago, MOOCS (massive open online courses) were unknown and offered by only a few providers. Now there are thousands, popular both with people wanting to upskill and those studying for fun a subject that interests them.

Increasingly, tertiary education organisations, and prestigious ones at that, including Oxford and Harvard, are offering MOOCS to whoever wants to do them. There is no limit on the number who can attend and, attractively for participants, no or greatly reduced cost.

All the study materials are provided online, and include filmed lectures, and many MOOCs provide interactive forums for students to interact with and support each other and to communicate with the teachers and professors.

Types of online courses 
Whatever your area of interest, be it creative, literary, technical, medical or something else, there is something.

Adult education has had a makeover: filmmaking with the NFTS and BFI is one of the 2,500 MOOCS out there. Photo: High50

The National Film and Television School and BFI Film Academy offers Explore Filmmaking: from Script to Screen, where you learn from award-winning filmmakers. Through Universidad de los Andes you could study The Works of Gabriel García Márquez, one of the 20th century’s leading writers. Creative Coding at Monash University can teach you computer programming to create sounds, images and animations. Global Food Security: Addressing the Challenge through Lancaster University looks at how the planet will feed an extra two billion people by the middle of this century.

Like all forms of study, though, participating in a MOOC does require a time commitment. And while you will be studying with hundreds or even thousands of fellow students virtually, you will physically be very much on your own, with just your computer or tablet.

So are MOOCS worth this investment of your time? Most assuredly yes, with a caveat from people who have done them that you should understand exactly what you’re letting yourself in for.

Source: High50 and FutureLearn Channel (YouTube)