More Online College Courses

Category: Education

Massively Open Online Classes (MOOCs) is the latest buzzword for online college classes. Demand for them (both free and paid) is taking off exponentially. Students, educators, and investors are flocking to MOOCs these days. Market research firm VisionGain estimates MOOC revenues of $1.5 billion worldwide in 2015. Here are some of the latest innovations in online learning...

Online Classrooms Are Catching On

French startup OpenClassrooms.com is launching the first state-recognized bachelor’s degree programs delivered via MOOC. In partnership with IESA Multimedia, OpenClasssrooms offers BS degrees in engineering, design, and digital marketing.

It takes about one year of hard work to complete a degree, compared to three years of on-campus attendance. To help students stay motivated, there are weekly online video chats with mentors. The price is right, too. One year degrees online cost €3,600 (about $4,000 USD) vs. €20,850 ($23,100 USD) for the three-year campus program. IESA and OpenClassroom are working on 40 more MOOC degree programs.

Unfortunately for most of my readers, most of IESA’s offerings are in French. (Can you guess what "Dynamisez vos sites web avec JavaScript" means?) But don’t worry, the English-speaking world is flocking to MOOCs, too.
Online College Learning

Arizona State University has over 13,000 students enrolled in online undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The school offers 41 undergraduate degrees and 38 graduate degrees online. Starbucks offers ASU online degree programs as a benefit to its employees.

The free media literacy MOOC offered by Arizona State University launched on July 7. “Media literacy” is a polite term for “BS detecting skills,” apparently. The non-credit course teaches critical thinking about media reports and marketing ploys; fact-checking skills; and how to avoid embarrassing yourself by sharing false information on social media. (Or, you could hang out at Snopes or Fark.com) Within a day, more than 3,000 people in 126 countries had enrolled in the course, according to the school.

Many More MOOCs

See my previous articles Free Online College Courses, Free Online College Courses - Part Deux and Free Online College Courses - Part Three for even more online learning options, from top-ranked colleges and universities.

This MOOC and many others are offered on Edx - the Global Freshman Academy. Edx partners with ASU and many other universities and colleges, including Harvard, CalTech, Columbia, and other top-tier schools worldwide. Over 500 courses are offered; some are free, others cost less than half the regular credit-hour price. It’s a good way to get basic freshman-year courses completed while working, or to brush up on math, art, science, and technology subjects.

Coursera is an online education platform hosting free courses from hundreds of universities all over the world. It’s served nearly 14 million students so far.

One of the oldest and most popular MOOCs – it’s been around 50 years and served 80 million learners – is “Sesame Street.” Each teaching segment of the show is scripted with input from experts in early education, with solid research and fact checking. A Brookings Institute study found that children who lived in areas where Sesame Street’s broadcast signal was strong were 14 percent less likely to be behind in school compared to children without access to Kermit and friends.

Art schools are going MOOC with a new platform called Kadenze, designed specifically for art courses. Partners include Stanford, Princeton, and 16 other universities. Initially, Kadenze is offering 20 online courses in music, art history, creative technology, and art. The platform allow students to create online portfolios, upload music files and scanned art, watch videos, and participate in discussion forums. Students can enroll and watch videos for free, but to participate and upload assignments they must pay $7/month. Courses offered for credit will cost between $300 and $900.

All of the MBA courses offered by Illinois University, Champaign-Urbana, are now online via Coursera While you can learn everything an MBA should know from one of the top 50 programs in the U. S. for free, the actual diploma-granting course will cost $20,000. I guess sheepskins are in short supply.

Train Your Brain

If you want to get your brain in better shape before jumping into other subjects, check out “Understanding the Brain: Neurobiology In Everyday Life”, a free MOOC from the University of Chicago. It’s a ten-week course for anyone interested in how the brain works, how neurochemistry affects daily behavior, and how neuroscience can help solve common mental and emotional problems.

So many MOOCs are popping up that it can be a bit overwhelming to find a course that you want. Try the MOOC List, a database of thousands of MOOCs offered by a wide variety of schools.

Have you taken any online college-level classes? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

 
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Most recent comments on "More Online College Courses"

Posted by:

jorge
14 Jul 2015

futurelearn (www.futurelearn.com) offers a great pool of online courses.
I have attended some on Higgs Boson, Creative computing, android programming, climate observation... All has been very funny.
Of course, I am not looking for a degree, just for fun.


Posted by:

Lee Bothwell
15 Jul 2015

I have taken several MOOCs and have enjoyed most of them. The Coursera courses I have taken are pretty much like college classes, with lectures, quizzes, papers. They can be fairly rigorous. The courses at Future Learn are more user-friendly, and some people complained about some of the "fun" exercises (for an astronomy course, we were to draw our own constellation, for example), but they offered MANY links for additional learning if you desired.
One thing - the assignments are peer-reviewed, and some of the peers are nasty. The music and creative writing course people were universally supportive, but the English lit people were bitches. (These were Coursera). Future Learn people were always pleasant, and some of the students knew a LOT and their comments were a real plus.


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