Driving Change in Higher Education.

What’s the deal with MOOCs?

By Brayden Mann
MSCSA Public Relations Coordinator

For some, the phrase “MOOCs” is just a funny word. But, for many at Stanford University, MIT, and the University of Minnesota, Massively Open Online Courses could mean the future of education.

MOOCs refer to the education program that are often offered for free, though without credits to students with internet access. For many, the program is a revolutionary concept that has gained significant ground in the last few years.

According to Scientific American, during the program’s first 13 months, ending in March 2013, MOOCs Company Coursera had registered 2.9 Million users–almost 72% of whom were from outside United States. It’s undeniable that this concept is not only growing with each passing year, but is in increasingly high demand globally.

With the ushering in of these new programs, many potential benefits can follow. The MoocGuide lists certain benefits, such as ease of accessibility, no necessity for a degree, and increased lifelong learning skills. But what is even more exciting is the chance that MOOCs might save students money. By taking free MOOCs, students may not only supplement the classes they are paying for, but they might be able to test out of certain courses all together.

This route may become more of a possibility as the big players in Minnesota higher education start offering. The University of Minnesota’s began offering MOOCs for the first time  this fall. This could potentially impact the way Minnesota State Colleges and Universities institutions approach certain subjects, since the University of Minnesota is so influential.

For a curated list of resources on MOOCs, visit http://bit.ly/GBLh8x

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