The Rise of the MOOCs!!!

MOOCsThis week in class we had a special guest whom I am glad to have met. We were joined by Christy Blanch! She is affiliated with Ball State University and has extensive work with utilizing MOOCs. What are MOOCs? They are Massive Open Online Courses, and they are commonly misconstrued with Online classes. I knew I thought they were online classes until I was educated about the topic! I am glad we were able to have this presentation, because I was inspired to sign up for a MOOC as well! I registered for the ever popular The Walking Dead MOOC, which they were inspired to approach Christy with since she has done a phenomenal job with other MOOCs.

I was informed about MOOCs from Christy and took solid information in which I can now share with others. I completely agree with the notion in which MOOCs are not to replace the classroom environment, but are tools to help further education. If they are utilized correctly, they can be used to revenue money and enhance the education of the classroom. We talked about how they can further education and help those alumni who are practitioners of their field. Universities can use this as a resource to build standing funding/donations from alumni who share the same passion of education with their beloved university. This is a more sound way of asking for donations from alumni, and in transaction everyone is coming out a winner.

We also brought up the pros and cons of MOOCs. Our main responses were positive towards the progression of MOOCs. They seem to be in good standing with students. I know I would participate in MOOCs if Texas Tech University offered and opened them up for alumni! We brought up how they can reach countless students all over the world. Education can literally be offered to anyone in any location. Some of the negatives were items in which could be tailored if money, time, and passion were mixed into this equation. The hard part would be students trying to keep up with the class since it is not a requirement in which could penalize the participants. We also talked about the amount of time needed to dedicate to the class with all the participants if it was a popular MOOC. Another challenge was how do you tailor an online class to the audience. The participants can range from students without a high school diploma to those who have PhD attached to their name. It can be a challenge, but if attempted, as we heard from Christy, it proves to be a huge accomplishment.

My last thoughts on MOOCs are they are much needed within the community. They need to be promoted, but not to be tampered with the traditional classroom setting. They are needed to be a promotional/additional tool to those who are wishing to continue practice within a certain field of study. They can best utilize the university faculty/staff in order to make a great profit and be a leading trend with the Higher Educational community. What are you thoughts on MOOCs?




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