mooc - massive online open course

Education Options are Changing Fast!

I’ve been doing a lot of research lately into online education.  It started with a search for the best online Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs.  In that search, I found a ton of information about massive open online courses (MOOCs.)  It is something I had looked into before and even registered for a few classes.  I had just never heard the term MOOC before.

The idea is that colleges and universities all over the world offer you the chance to take courses online without credit – kinda like auditing a course but online.

In the course of my research, I signed up as a student at edX,  NovoEd,  as well as Coursera.  So far I have downloaded the Coursera app for my iPad and took the DemoX edX Demonstration Course that explains how their class interface system works.   Another useful site is Class Central which is really just a library of various courses.  Sites like it and others list courses regardless of who is providing them and link to many sites.

You would think that all these courses are archived so you can move at your own pace and start and stop when it pleases you but they are actual interactive courses.  They have instructors, you have group projects, you have deadlines as well as start and stop dates.

I am currently enrolled in:

  • Services Marketing: Selling the Invisble from OpenLearning.com – a 3 week course about marketing service-based business (Starts immediately)
  • Sports and Society from Duke University – a 7 week look at the role societal changes have in the sports culture (Starts Sep 1st)
  • Introduction to Financial Accounting from the Wharton School of business – a 10 week course covering the basics of financial accounting (Starts Sep 5th)
  • Scaling Up Your Venture Without Screwing Up from Stanford School of Business – a 5-week course where you learn the principles that will help you scale up your venture without screwing up. (Starts Sep 15th)
  • Foundations of Data Analysis from The University of Texas (Austin) – a 13-week course covering fundamental statistical topics such as descriptive statistics, inferential testing, and modeling. (Starts Nov 4th)

These courses were chosen because a) they are of interest to me, b) its kinda cool to say I have taken classes from the Wharton School of Business and c) it will acclimate me to taking online courses and as I move toward my MBA.

On the subject of the MBA, I have already requested transcripts from my former university and have narrowed my choice down to a couple.  In addition, I have downloaded several GMAT apps for the iPad to do some practice work there (although from what I have seen, it all looks really simple – granted, I haven’t delved too deep,) and I will be applying for admission soon.

So what is your experience?  Have you taken online courses?  Have you participated in MOOCs?  Share your experience/advice/warnings etc.  Thanks!

by Chris Doelle