Recently I took several courses in MOOCs and enjoyed them. Do you know “MOOCs”? MOOCs is massive open online courses. A lot of famous universities provide us their courses from computer science to Art & Literature. Edex, Coursera and Udacity are famous brands in MOOCs. They started providing courses in 2012 and now millions people take courses through their platforms. It consists of videos, documents, questions and mid/final exam. When you obtain the score over the criteria which depends on courses, you can get the certificate. I was very surprised when I knew most of the courses are provided as free. When you want the certification with your identification, it takes reasonable costs. But courses itself are basically provided as free. So MOOCs is expected to lower the barrier to enter higher educations in developing countries.
Currently I am taking two courses about credit risk management by TU delft and financial programing and policies by IMF in Edex. They are very good to brush up my knowledge. Each author of both courses is a professor in one of top universities or international institutions, contents are updated with the current situation. Both of them are strongly recommended.
Since last year, I have taken more than 10 courses in MOOCs. Based on this experience, I can explain what the pros and cons of MOOCs are.
1. Most courses are new and updated periodically.
This is the advantage of digital contents and the internet. Most courses are updated to react the performance of previous versions of courses. More than 1000 or 10000 people participate and provide their opinions to the courses so it is always improving steadily.
2. We can take courses anytime and anywhere
This is also the advantage of digital contents and the internet. As long as you have an access to the internet, you can enjoy MOOCs anytime and anywhere all over the world. I moved from Tokyo to Kuala Lumpur in the middle of courses this year, but there is no problem to continue it. This is very good when jobs are becoming mobile and cross border.
1. It is very difficult to keep your motivation to finish the courses.
There is no teacher in the classroom physically when you take MOOCs. There is no warning for you to skip one of learning sequences or miss the exams. Although there are a lot of participants, only less than 10 percent of them finish the courses in MOOCs. It is a problem that we should solve going forward.
2. There are a lot of courses so it may be difficult to choose the best one for each participant.
As a lot of universities have participated in MOOCs recently. You can see a lot of courses in the certain topic, so it is getting difficult to find courses which fit your learning needs in MOOCs. In nature, we cannot see the whole story of the courses in advance (we cannot check each video in advance), although the course summary is available. I sometimes refer participants reviews and opinions to the course before I take it.
Anyway, I love MOOCs and continue to learn their courses. Next week I will start the course about machine learning by the famous professor of Stanford University. I hope I will enjoy it and learn machine learning a lot! I would like to report how this machine learning course is going.