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Tech Bytes - MOOCs: Satisfying Your Intellectual Curiosity

By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, Jun 7th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

For the individuals out there who love to learn for the sake of learning and expanding your intellectual knowledge through educational opportunities, you already know that you can educate yourself in an infinite number of ways, whether it’s through reading, observation, or a hands-on approach. Classroom settings often require you to pay fees, but now you have the option to explore thousands of MOOCs (pronounced m-o-o-k-s).

MOOCs are Massive Open Online Courses that are for non-degree seeking people who just wish to learn. MOOCs are completely online and do not provide you with academic credit upon completion. They’re just meant to teach and satisfy the curiosity of the intellectually-inclined population. However, MOOCs are often provided through universities as a qualified instructor leads the virtual course.

The only requirement to participate would be to have an internet connection. MOOCs are available globally and teach students through traditional tactics such as readings, videos, and problem-solving sets. MOOCs commonly also provide a forum for students, professors, and teacher assistants to build a communication community.

Although the actual completion rates for MOOCs are significantly low, this does not have an impact on MOOC students as the classes are completely voluntary. MOOCs allow for individuals to learn and explore in a more informal setting. They’re not as organized as your typical classroom experience, but nonetheless, if you find fascination in a subject area, finding a MOOC that caters to your interests is totally worthwhile. Doesn’t the expression ‘knowledge is power’ come into play here?

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