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Massive Open Online Courses and Their Impact on Education

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Table of contents

  1. Abstract
  2. Introduction
  3. What is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)?
    Advantages and Disadvantages of MOOCs
  4. Difference between MOOCs and E-learning courses
  5. MOOC
    E-learning course
  6. Role of MOOCs in Education
  7. MOOCs in the LIS profession and their benefits
  8. MOOCs and free online platforms
  9. Conclusion

Abstract

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are designed for limitless participation via the web. MOOCs provide free open access courses for anyone who is interested in learning. MOOCs are offered through various platforms such as Coursera, edX, Udacity, SWAYAM, FutureLearn, Canvas Network, Khan Academy, and Open Yale Courses, offering online courses for free and charging a small fee for certification. MOOCs are a significant area of interest that encourages students’ motivation to learn and has also thrown challenges to brick and mortar education system.

Keywords: -MOOC; Online learning; MOOC platforms; STEM; LIS Professionals

Introduction

The purpose of this research paper is to provide information about MOOCs and their impact on education. Online education has been constantly reshaping the concept of distance learning since the early 90s. The term MOOCs means (Massive Open Online Courses), which refers to a specific type of online course. Globally, MOOCs are the most trending way to offer online courses. In the field of education, MOOCs allow keeping pace with changes in technology, innovation, and learning pedagogies. MOOCs provide the strategic aim to design and deliver the best campus-based online educational experience. MOOCs also provide strong narrative videos, audio, articles, case studies, and other media elements.

What is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)?

“The term MOOC was introduced by Dave Cornier in 2008 as a response to an online course, in which a massive number of participants from the general public can enroll. MOOCs are typically offered by colleges and universities as a way to open up education to all. Anyone with an Internet facility can sign up for a MOOC and participate in an online course. MOOCs are usually provided by higher education institutions and partners, which include Coursera, edX, Udacity, SWAYAM, Future Learn, MooKIT, and many more such providers. Massive Open Online Courses are another part in the development of open education resources, in particular as they are academic learning programs supervised by great accredited universities and institutions. Types of Massive Open Online Courses

  1. Synchronous MOOC: -Synchronous MOOC has a fixed start date and a clear end date; they have fixed deadlines for assignments and assessments.
  2. Asynchronous MOOC: – Have no fixed dates and no fixed end dates. Asynchronous MOOC is available anywhere and every time.
  3. Transfer MOOC: -Transfer MOOC takes existing courses &transfers them into the MOOC platform.
  4. Made MOOC: -Made MOOC is more innovative in their use of videos. They provide challenging assignments, problem-solving & various levels of software-driven interactive experiences.
  5. Adaptive MOOC: -Adaptive MOOC is based on dynamic assessment & data gathering on the course and the courses.
  6. Group MOOC: -Starts with small collaborative groups of students. The aim is to increase the student’s memory.
  7. Mini MOOC:- Mini MOOCs are associated with universities, whose courses last many weeks and many a time fit the semester structure and timetable of traditional institutions.

Advantages and Disadvantages of MOOCs

MOOCs do not charge any fees for their courses, and it doesn’t provide any modified courseware and attention from an instructor. It is an open course for all interested and regardless of location, resulting in a more diverse student base, it is hard to keep track of learners’ assignments and involvement. Collecting data via computer programs helps to examine the success and failure of each learner whereas without an internet connection learners can’t use MOOCs programs. MOOCs courses are available to a large amount of audience across the globe but language can be a barrier while offering MOOCs. Both professors and learners get worldwide exposure whereas in traditional classroom participation cannot offer online training.

Difference between MOOCs and E-learning courses

MOOC

  • Open environment
  • Freely accessible
  • Massive participation
  • Support of the community and the instructors
  • Communication tools, and use of social networks
  • It gives more importance to the learning process

E-learning course

  • Closed environment
  • Registration fee is required to access
  • Limited group
  • Majority support of the teaching staff
  • Communication through debate forums
  • Emphasis on Evaluation and accreditation oriented

Role of MOOCs in Education

A range of studies was conducted by different authors on variant issues related to Massive Open Online Courses and Library and Information Science (LIS) field where in Riddle, Randy presented that MOOCs is a new model for online courses and offered interest and support for education and universities. MOOCs are not fixed as compared to traditional courses available in the university and MOOCs can start at any time and no time limit. MOOCs’ role in higher education to allow all the students to complete their courses in a non-traditional format. They offer free or minimum-cost courses for students. Badi & Ali has stated MOOCs are an open education environment which is referred to a speedy open education factor. The article mainly tries to explain the changes in the quality of education, so that it fulfills all development and progress of civilization requirements.

Subbian and Vignesh explain that in online education MOOCs have created a major role and offer web-based courses to learners at free of cost. The article also emphasizes on the role of MOOCs in STEM disciplines (STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and their related courses. It also examines the ability of MOOCs in developing learning experiences and to promote interdisciplinary education in STEM fields.

In education, MOOCs can help learners and expand their knowledge. The higher education system is divided into three sectors i.e.formal, non-formal and informal. The formal sector stands for a traditional course that means teaching and learning through colleges and universities, and MOOCs courses are available for open and distance learning. The non-formal sector stands for formal courses and they provide certificates to learners. The Informal sector stands for the best part of the learners who are learning full-time courses and they don’t get any certificate for any courses. Thus MOOCs are playing an important role in all these three sectors.

MOOCs in the LIS profession and their benefits

E-learning is a new concept of MOOCs in education. The development of education in the orientation program for learners, institute, faculty, and library. LIS professionals to test rising technologies, take part with a new role, collaborative creation, emerging new technologies, and participatory practices to serve their communities. LIS professionals and learners can play the roles of connector, collaborator, and self-learner in the social learning experience through MOOCs. LIS professionals can use MOOCs platforms for learners to help in knowledge from experts in the field, the usefulness of online and attractive learning, to downloadable stuff available on site, to help to bring variety, superior learning through many assessments, enhanced interest and focus, and also enhance the education and research in LIS field. Universally MOOCs in Library and Information Science

  • Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and American Library Association (ALA) these two associations are developed through a discussion name as Library Support for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) Discussion Group
  • “The Hyperlinked Library MOOC” is invented by Michael Stephens and Kyle Jones by School of Information at San Jose State University.
  • OCLC is organized conference in 2013 on MOOCs and Libraries: Massive Opportunity or Overwhelming Challenge?
  • Gerry McKiernan created blog for MOOCs and Libraries: MOOCs and Libraries is devoted to documenting librarian and library involvement in Massive Open Online Courses

MOOCs and free online platforms

Prof. Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng are two Stanford computer science professors who established Coursera in the year 2012. Coursera provides a platform where anyone, anywhere can learn and earn diploma certificates from the world’s top universities and education providers. Lectures include recorded videos, community discussions forum,s and peer-reviewed assignments. After completion of the course, the learners will receive an online sharable course certificate. Within 4-6 months the learners can earn the master skills, and the price for each course starts at about $39(USD). Coursera covers 2098 topics and around 20,267 members approximately. Overall 200 partners covered by Coursera and across 48 countries are included such as International partners like the University of Toronto, University of Sydney, University of Western Australia, and the University of Zurich. It also provides National partners such as the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIMC) and the Indian School of Business (ISB). The number of courses provided by is about 3,776 courses. Courses provided by Coursera

  • Information Technology
  • Personality Development
  • Language Learning
  • Social sciences and Arts and Humanities
  • Math & Logic
  • Business
  • Computer Science
  • Data Science
  • Physical Science and Engineering
  • Health

edX is founded by Harvard and MIT in the year 2012. edX provides transforming traditional education, removing barriers of cost, location, and access, the highest-quality, interengaging learning experiences the innovative Micro- Masters programs. edX is founded by and continues to be governed by colleges and universities. edX is the only leading provider that is both nonprofit and open-source courses. Open-edX is also an open-source platform and it’s freely available to learners. Open-edX contributes to learners for new features to the platform. It covers 2,400 courses approximately, 20 Million learners worldwide, and 70 Million enrollments approximately. edX includes charter members such as Harvard University, Boston University, IIT Bombay, University of Chicago, and it also includes members like Colgate University, IBM, Indiana University, Wits University, and The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Courses provided by edX

  • Economic and Finance
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Law
  • Music
  • Communication
  • Environmental Studies
  • Ethics
  • Humanities
  • Energy and Earth Science
  • Physics

SWAYAM is a program developed by the Government of India. It provides three essential fundamental principles of education viz; access, equity, and quality. The main aim of this program is to bring out the best teaching learning resources to all learners. All the courses in Swayam are interactive and organized by the best in the country; the courses available are free of cost to all learners. The lectures conducted in SWAYAM are through video lectures, learners can download reading materials, self-assessment tests, quizzes, and online discussion forums. In order to offer the best quality content swayam also provides nine National Coordinators such as AICTE (All India Council for Technical education) for self-paced and international courses, NPTEL for engineering, and UGC for non-governmental technical post-graduation education, NCRET and NIOS for school education and IIMB for management studies. Courses provided by SWAYAM

  • Engineering and Technology
  • Management and Commerce
  • Maths and Sciences
  • Architecture and Planning
  • Education

Udacity’s aim is to offer education through the world’s best higher education opportunities that are accessible, flexible, and economically available to all learners. Courses provided by Udacity

  • Data Science
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cloud Computing
  • Programming and Development

Future Learn is a digital education platform, which got established in the year December 2012. It offers various courses from leading universities and institutions; the courses are accessible on mobile, tablet, and desktop, and these are delivered one at a time so the learners can’t take benefit of the various courses available on future learning. The current partners of this portal are the University of Basel, the University of Bristol, the University of Cape Town, the University of Michigan, the University of Sydney, the University of Canberra, the University of Warrick, and the University of California all these are the international partner’s providers of the Future Learn. Courses provided by Future Learn

  • Business and Management
  • Health and Psychology
  • Science and Maths
  • Tech and Coding
  • Nature and Environment
  • Politics and the Modern world
  • Study Skills
  • Creative Arts and Media
  • History
  • Language and Culture

Khan Academy’s mission is to provide the world’s best free education for each and every learner anywhere, anytime. It offers practice exercises; instructional videos and a personalized learning dashboard that allow learners to study at their own pace, the resources of the courses are translated into more than 36 languages. They also provide internship programs in over 25 languages across the world. Courses provided by Khan Academy:

  • Math
  • Physical Science
  • Humanities
  • Health and Medicine
  • Art and History
  • Economics and Finance
  • Science and Engineering
  • KV Courses
  • Computing

Iversity is the European platform for online learning that allows universities to share a wide range of courses with students from across the world which provides them with a good opportunity to earn credentials, no matter where they are. They work in close cooperation with instructors, higher education institutions, and knowledge base companies which provide high-quality courses that are engaging, interactive, and fun, they also make their higher education more accessible, more affordable, and more personalized for their learners. They have established a number of partnerships with the top leading academic institutions, NGOs, and Businesses from all over Europe; they include partners like the European University Institute, The University of Buckingham, Jacobs University, and the University of Salford Manchester.

Courses provided by Iversi

  • Architecture
  • Biotechnology
  • Communications
  • Environmental Studies
  • Digital Transformation
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Languages
  • Media studies
  • Psychology
  • Political Science

MooKIT is a freely accessible MOOC management system which offers open source technologies by the Indian Institute of Kanpur (IITK) 2012. It is an influential platform that offers courses from micro to massive. MooKIT offers 60 courses with approximately 1, 00,000 registered learners. It is specifically designed to solve the difficulty of dealing with low-bandwidth and low-computing power situations using accessible MOOC platforms.

Courses provided by MooKIT

  • Detection, Diagnosis and Management of Plant Diseases
  • Design Thinking for Agricultural Implements
  • Introduction to Sustainable Development in Business
  • Physics of Semiconductors

Conclusion

Massive Open Online Courses are only a component of the rapid change in education; which is referred to as the open education environment. As the scope of this system is spreading out very rapidly, more related inquiries our raised about the role of academic and community institutions. MOOCs are playing a very vital role by providing the best and most effective way of MOOC technology, in which the LIS professionals can explore the best possibilities to use MOOC technology. In LIS professionals MOOC will bring in an opportunity for librarianship in improving LIS education and skills. Today education is in much need of, to make changes in the quality of our education. In the present period MOOCs are offering infinite opportunities and challenges in which learners can discover more possibilities to use MOOCs technology in a more useful manner in order to prove their professions. MOOC technology also offers space for LIS professionals to become more familiar with MOOCs concepts, and to enhance their skills in MOOCs. There are different MOOCs platforms that are being used in India for offering the courses, such as NPTEL, mooKIT, IITBX, and SWAYAM.

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Massive Open Online Courses and Their Impact on Education. (2022, August 01). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 28, 2023, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/massive-open-online-courses-and-their-impact-on-education/
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