Remember how being called the “jack of all trades and master of none” used to be a bad thing? Companies worldwide looked for specialized candidates who were masters of their chosen field. Those of us who had picked up multiple skills but not enough expertise in one was viewed as less satisfactory than our expert counterparts. Well, times are a-changing, my friends. Reskilling and acquisition of new skills has become the need of the hour and unless you’ve dedicated your life to a particular field of study, it is now possible to be a master of all trades. No, you don’t require some Ra’s-al-Ghul-level training; it’s all doable easily and with unbeatable flexibility from the comfort of your own home!
Though the internet was always a place of learning, several online platforms such as edX, Coursera, Udacity, Udemy, Skillshare and Treehouse captured the market and hearts of learners by being some of the first portals to provide quality education in a wide range of topics. Apart from catering to casual learners, these portals also provide job and skill-specific courses that have helped millions of learners worldwide gain new or better employment, promotions and an increase in pay, making them some of the best online course platforms. Today, we tell you why! Read on to learn more about these online course platforms and also find out which one is the best in our online course platforms comparison.
Yes, we know we told you that MOOCs are massive open courses that can be accessed by anyone with a good internet connection and the desire to learn, but what exactly contributed to the soaring popularity of these online courses? Well, though distance education existed before MOOCs (correspondence degrees, OpenCourseWare and online classes), there was a lack of proper guidance, feedback and interactions between teachers, students and peers. Where online classes are expensive (almost the same as a full-time course) and OCW is free, MOOCs are a middle ground; free of cost unless you want a verified certificate of completion.
Additionally, MOOCs, though they follow a syllabus, are more flexible with deadlines and the pace of learning, usually being self-paced. Lastly, MOOCs are easy to enroll for as opposed to strict admission procedures and rules, as well as non-discriminating against learners, making them open to anyone anywhere in the world.
What Most Good MOOCs Will Offer
Though the ability to learn is itself a privilege, it is also equally important that you’re learning the right thing. It’s crucial that MOOCs provide quality information and instruction, regardless of whether you’re paying for the course or not. Most good MOOCs will have the following components:
- Video lectures and clips (internal and external)
- Reading material
- Various activities such as quizzes, practice assignments, and peer-reviews
- A final examination or project
- A student community supported by course-specific student forums
- A clear syllabus for the duration of the course
Once you’re assured that it’s a good MOOC, enrolling for one is as easy as registering on your chosen platform, deciding what type of MOOC you want to pursue (audited course, certified program or specialization) and starting the course. While some courses may start and end on specific dates, most are self-paced courses, allowing students the flexibility of learning at their own pace.