Before we discuss MOOCs we should probably look at what it stands for:- Massive Open Online Course. It is open access via the web and they offer interactive user forums to support interactions among students as well as offering traditional course materials such as readings and filmed lectures.
HE sector stands for the higher education sector.
With the increased technology online courses are becoming increasingly popular and MOOCs are the latest addition to the methods of learning for the higher education. MOOCs include videos which may suit students finding themselves getting distracted in lessons/lectures. On MOOCs you can choose when you want to watch the video and this would help students who struggle to digest information quickly in a lesson and therefore they could go over the content in their own time in a relaxed and comfortable environment where they may find it easier to learn.
Although lack of motivation could be an issue with a MOOC, students who sign up for MOOCs are generally ones who enjoy having the flexibility of learning at their own pace and have the motivation to teach themselves.
Another value of MOOCs to the HE sector is the quantity and range of courses they offer to students. They offer over 1200 courses which include Science, Business Management, Engineering and Humanities. This therefore shows that MOOCs offerings are attractive to lots of different types of students and have a very diverse list of courses for students to be able to learn from.
The MOOC course I chosen was financial accounting, the main purpose of this chosen course was to help me with y business finance module. I did this online through “Coursera” and it was easy to follow and easy to use. Videos could be paused, so if I did not get a bit of information I could go back unlike in a lecture and the course was interesting.
Personally, I have to admit that I do not think that MOOCs on their own would suffice in comparison to a university degree as I would struggle to keep up my motivation and I think after a certain amount of time they would get boring. I also think it does not cover the university experience and you would struggle to pick up practical skills that you do with a degree. Having said that I think they are under used in my university and in my opinion should be used more often to offer some variety in the learning of content as appose to the same methods. They are also very handy, when it comes to gaining knowledge on topics you are struggling with. Due to the diverse range of courses they offer you should always be able to find a course which is appropriate to yourself and therefore they can really help in developing your knowledge in areas where you feel you need the most help.
All in all the value of MOOCs in the HE sector is high and they can provide lots of benefits for students and also for teachers, it gives them the chance to mix up the teaching content and keep students engaged. MOOCs provide students with another learning accessory and will particularly suit students who are self motivated and like learning in their own time and in a comfortable environment.