Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) Continue to Gain Traction in San Diego Tech Communities for Good Reason.
The massive open online course market is projected to grow by 33% over the next 5 years. The growth alone overlooks the many reasons consumers should be enrolled in one of these courses at all times. What's more, after the pandemic, they look to be gaining traction with San Diego firms.
The Open Online Course Market
There are thousands upon thousands of online programs already. While the majority of them are business oriented, there are many consumer oriented ones as well. The problem is, most of these courses are offered by small and big name universities, as well as free courses offered by the United States Government. These free online courses can sometimes be more complicated than traditional classroom courses and require significant work from the learner before they can get to the exam topic.
The other issue when it comes to MOOCs is that there are many fraudulent programs out there. If you take a look at the reviews on these free courses, you'll often find comments like "There was a flash of light and now I am in hell." These comments suggest that the students were not satisfied with the outcome of the course, which could be because of the way they were taught, or the content that was covered in the course.
The Complimentary Open Online Courses Market
What these two markets have in common is that there are also fake reviews for complimentary MOOCs. You can find comments like "The professor was great but the material sucked!" Many of these complimentary MOOCs can be taken from free sites, and there are some universities offering complimentary MOOCs as part of their degree programs. The same issues applies with the free courses. These complimentary MOOCs have the same issues as the other courses, with fake reviews and comments that suggest that the students were dissatisfied with the outcome.
While some San Diego firms like Qualcomm have expressed interest in their firm's growth through MOOC credentialing, the question of who is the gatekeeper remains. Even in 2021, the market has not had the final say. Though, with features like corporate tuition reimbursement, the lines are forming.
The MOOC market is facing severe competition, which is causing fake reviews and comments. This has lead to a lot of criticism about the quality of the content in these courses. In both cases, there are people who are unhappy with the outcome, as a result of either the quality of the course, or the way that the course was taught. The solution to these reviews is simple. Enforce your Terms of Service and Review Criteria, and ban those who violate them.
If you use the same process with complimentary MOOCs, then the reviews won't be as negative towards your MOOCs. This is the reason why Microsoft and Harvard are teaming up for some of their MOOCs, as they want to address the criticisms against their course. This leads me to believe that all online course programs should build a team to manage the reviews and reviews.
The criticisms can be managed. So too, the duplicates.
Those that are not duplicates could be dealt with by a system that is built into the program. The team could be called a team management system, or a team management platform, which would allow the head coach to manage reviews and duplicate reviews. We will see what the future brings, MOOCs and complimentary MOOCs.
As with any business, the reviews should be done fairly and equally. The outcome of the reviews should be presented in an open manner, so that all other courses can benefit from it. Reviews should be posted on a review platform, in a timely manner, so that all MOOC providers can take advantage of it. The review platform or management system would present both positive and negative reviews, based on the price paid and rating given. It is obvious that MOOCs have a major advantage, when compared to other new content offerings on the market. It should be noted that the reviews would be based on value and not on the cost.
Also, it should be noted that there are no strings attached with these reviews, so that the reviews can be posted on any time of the day or night. Finally, reviews would only be available to the course provider and its students. Students can also request the course providers to post their review, if the reviewers don't give appropriate rating. This way, the students could get a more unbiased perspective. All reviews would be posted in an open manner on a platform that all MOOC providers and course students can access. The platform would allow the students to get an honest review of the courses. An example of such a platform is the Lumosity platform.
So far we have discussed the advantages of MOOCs, now let us discuss the unanswered questions.
There's No Free Lunch
This is a phenomenal opportunity to learn in a virtual classroom with a virtual instructor. MOOCs don't come cheap. MOOC providers charge based on the number of enrolments. At present MOOC providers are able to charge based on the number of enrolled students for courses with a total enrolments between 10,000 and 30,000. The Course Provider would have an advantage of having an active network of students, and more students would result in a higher price. Students can also opt for free courses, which are equivalent to other colleges or universities and not have to pay the course price.
Quality of Instruction
There are other disadvantages of MOOCs. Some students complain about the learning outcome being poor. In such cases, students are not taught the subject in depth. Others are not taught the skills necessary to survive in the global economy. There are other students that don't have the time to sit the courses or the finances to pay the course price. Some MOOCs have a content which is outdated. The providers would use obsolete content and some courses are taught entirely in Skype.
It is difficult to find people with the required expertise to deliver the course, but it is also difficult to find MOOC providers who are in the know and are willing to provide obsolete content. MOOCs are certainly not a quick method to get certified in a subject. MOOCs cannot be considered to be a replacement for learning because the material being taught is new.
The courses being delivered today were probably not taught in the past. MOOCs offer a new option to learn in the Classroom. MOOCs do not guarantee success or guarantee a particular result. MOOCs are still learning methods and not a quick solution to learning. Students should be prepared to sit the MOOC and should be able to sit the MOOC with a little bit of preparation. The outcome is still dependent upon the student's ability to take in and digest the information given. The MOOC provider would have the advantage of being in the know about the trends, latest research, best practices, etc. MOOCs cannot replace personal efforts and personal study. MOOCs can be a supplement to personal efforts, to take the pressure off a class but cannot replace personal efforts.
MOOCs cannot replace learning in the real world. They are definitely more convenient ways to learn in the Classroom.
With new MOOCs becoming available on a regular basis and they seem to be improving and getting better almost on a daily basis, MOOCs offer the latest available technology. MOOCs offer the opportunity to learn in the comfort of your own home.
Students can do the MOOC in their own time and still has time to attend class and learn at the same time.
There are times when MOOCs are being offered in the mainstream of learning. The University of California at San Diego (UCSD) offers hundreds of course offerings through their partnership with Coursera.
MOOCs are being offered in traditional classroom settings. They have been integrated into the curriculum.
So it appears that MOOCs are definitely becoming more acceptable in the learning world. They are offering convenience. They can be done from your bed or your desk. Their content can be integrated into your regular class time.
With the MOOCs being offered on a regular basis, they are taking over the mainstream of learning. And there is a growing faction that believes that MOOCs are a great way to learn for students who cannot afford to go to class. They are a great way to integrate learning into your day. It's a great way to help people learn at the same time.