So what’s a MOOC? Massively Open Online Courses are the latest incarnation of online learning, this time not only for free but with the clout that top universities like, ahem, if I may say so, Loughborough are now offering.
If a MOOC is free, it’s likely you can’t get accreditation or assessment. However, you will gain a learning experience which will allow you to pick and choose your learning time to fit your studies, workload, lifestyle or just personal preference. Then there’s the opportunity to connect with learners all around the – networking is positively encouraged.
The Futurelearn offering is wholly-owned by The Open University, with partner institutions like Loughborough contributing high quality courses on topics currently as diverse as forensic science and fiction writing.
Check out the background on these courses, bearing in mind duration and start date.
For what it’s worth, based on my own experience in my first MOOC, don’t go into this half-heartedly. This isn’t a cop out or an easy route to learning. It might cost nothing, but unless you commit fully and plan when you’re going to work on it, you’re going to disappoint yourself. You don’t have anyone pushing you except yourself. Unless you make some contacts and get yourself some study-buddies, it could be a bit of a grind. A little peer pressure can go a long way to keeping the motivation and performance levels up