MOOCS – the next generation textbook


Education really hasn’t changed in the past 500 years.

The last big innovation in the education was the printing press and texbooks.Everything else has changed around us from transportation to medicare.

MOOCS is that innovation in the education space.A MOOC is distance learning, with a web flare.

MOOCS is a concept born of partnerships between elite universities and the platforms such as Coursera, FutureLearn, and edX .Anyone with an internet connection and a will to learn can access courses from premier institutions and take a class offered by universities like Yale or Harvard.

The users not only get a chance to learn from the best minds in the world but also get a credential at the end of it.

MOOC let the students decide how many courses they can fit into their schedules, and even more importantly, they only pay for the courses they take.MOOCs are not limited to ivy-league schools, or even to schools in general, and attendance is open to all.

In the past six years or so, over 800 universities have created more than 10,000 of MOOCs.

MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, are fast becoming a staple training and study for knowledge-hungry IT audiences.

Top international players in the industry.

  • Coursera

  • edX

  • FutureLearn

  • iversity

  • MiriadaX

  • Udemy

  • Udacity

  • XuetangX

How does this work????

A semester-long subject traditionally taught as 40 hours of classroom instruction will typically be broken into over 200 parts of four to ten minute media-rich modules.

Each of these modules consists of

  • graphics

  • voice

  • video

  • animation

This way helps the student to understand the concepts much better Each module is typically followed up with assessments that a student is expected to complete before he/she moves onto the next module.

The best part is that student responses to exercises are evaluated by MOOC’s back-end servers in real-time, thereby enabling students to attempt exercises multiple times till they complete them correctly.

Analytics on student activity keeps a track of learner’s performance on exercises, which are available to an instructor to assess student growth and engagement with the courses and also help in analysis of their improvement areas.

Tools for several students to collaborate or study together are also available allowing them to communicate through video chat,blog etc

MOOC courses also provide for computer-based simulations which emulate lab-like experimentation also called as virtual labs, a component that is so very essential in programmes such as sciences, engineering and medicine.

Q.How can MOOCS benefit the Indian education ecosystem?

Indian teachers and institutions can use MOOC platforms to create and conduct MOOCs for students all over the world, just like ivy league universities have done worldwide. This has multiple benefits like branding, publicity, recruitment of foreign students and extension of the Indian Higher Education system across global boundaries.

Similarly they can use content created by top notch teachers and universities in the world.

Teachers could substitute traditional and age old activities with MOOC based activities and assess students based on their performance and participation in the MOOCs.

MOOCs could be counted as actual degree or diploma credits. Certain highly trusted and reputable MOOCs have found their way into the curriculum itself.


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