What is a MOOC? A funny name for a challenge for learners

grantham.edu_MOOC-alternativeThere are plenty of reasons to get your degree, but higher costs and a staggering lack of time have driven many students to seek alternatives. One of those alternatives, an unfortunately-acronym-ed category of online instruction called MOOCs, has received a lot of attention lately, and for good reason. 

MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Courses – and though many claim they are revolutionary, they raise some challenging questions for students who are actively seeking a way to advance themselves in today’s often dicey job marketplace.

The premise behind MOOCs is straightforward: Who wants to spend tens of thousands of dollars to sit on your backside listening to a lecture when you could take coursework from some of the biggest names in academia online for free? In this case, the old adage is proving true: You get what you pay for. 

The MOOC model was a proposition that was intended to turn traditional education on its end. Classes are usually comprised of video lectures, assignments and discussions (interactive) – very much along the lines of what you’d get in a more conventional college, only free. And, in most cases, without the benefit of earning an actual, bona-fide degree for your effort.

Students – all of us, really – need to have something meaningful to work toward – whether it’s a sought-after degree in a competitive field, leveraging military training toward a second career, or gaining professional certification. Personal growth and lifelong learning arguments aside, students need to be able to earn something that employers recognize and assign worth to.

While the MOOCs continue to sort out their business model, there are, in fact, numerous accredited, high-quality, affordable degree programs that are recognized and valued by employers. Grantham University is one of them. 

Have you considered taking or have you taken a MOOC class?  What was your experience?  Tell us in the comments.

Read the rest of the MOOC story here.











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