Recently, I have been noticing a lot about the MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses as a trend in adult education. As the name aptly describes, these online courses are offered free to the public by organisations on a massive scale. A quick search of the website MOOC List reveals over 20,000 completely free course on everything from Japanese architecture to rural nursing.
These courses have great potential to change adult education as they broaden the number of people having access to learning. According to this article (Cobb, 2016), MOOCs allow organisations to spread their message and educational institutions to attract more learners. Anyone who has access to the internet and the time and will to complete the course can gain extra knowledge and skills. Amazingly, the US Government has launched MOOCs designed for refugees. The talk below highlights the potential for people to create their own low cost college degree:
However, there are some critics saying that after the initial excitement for MOOCs, interest has started to wane (Pappano, 2014). As proof she cites the completion rate is under 10% for people who sign up for a course.
Overall, though, I believe increasing access to education through online means is a positive trend that will continue and MOOCs have played an interesting role.
Cobb, J. (2016). 12 trends still disrupting the market for life-long learning and continuing education. Tagoras. Retrieved from http://www.tagoras.com/lifelong-learning-market-trends/
Massive Open Online Course. (2016). In Wikipedia. Retrieved June 30, 2016 , from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_open_online_course
MOOC List. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.mooc-list.com
Pappano, L. (2012). Year of the mooc. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/04/education/edlife/massive-open-online-courses-are-multiplying-at-a-rapid-pace.htm
What is MOOC? (2013). Ed Tech Review. Retrieved from http://edtechreview.in/dictionary/198-what-is-a-mooc
Reshef, S. (2014, March). An ultra-low-cost college degree . Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/shai_reshef_a_tuition_free_college_degree?language=en