Wikipedia defines a massive open online course (MOOC) as an online course aimed at large-scale interactive participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings, and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for the students, professors, and TAs. MOOCs are a recent development in distance education.
Academia is buzzing about MOOCs. What sounds like genteel name-calling is actually a powerful new medium with potential to transform the education system. Indeed, MOOCs and mooks are simply unfortunate homophones but the former is certainly ruffling feathers because their aim is to make higher education more affordable (free, in fact). These Massive Open Online Courses picked up speed and weight like a freight train, with more than five million learners in locations spanning the whole globe. Academic heavyweights like Harvard, Stanford and MIT back the courses, giving the world of online learning a much-needed boost of credibility.
In fact, two main players in online platforms, Coursera and Udacity, were founded by Stanford professors. As tuition rates continue to skyrocket, outpacing inflation like a Greyhound racing a Chihuahua, professors have banded together in hopes of making a world where anyone can access the elusive realm of an Ivy League education. The hurdles remain: Passing rates hover in the single-digits and completing a course has yet to be recognized for college credit. However, the appeal of MOOCs for both professors and students is so powerful it just might change higher education for good.
Makerere University’s e-learning platform, MUELE tries to offer a bit of this integration but alot is still lacking that can be added to give the whole experience a new meaning.
A new acquaintance of mine Allison Morris shared an important infographic via OnlineCollegeCourses with me and i would like to share with the rest of you.
I am of the view this will be a perfect way forward to boost education and online learning for African universities.
Credit goes to Allison Morris, anchor at the Fox CT News and OnlineCollegeCourses