A Look into MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses
As admission to prestigious universities gets increasingly difficult, many may feel that excellent education is now locked behind the gates of selective schools. However, with the rise of the internet, these barriers are gradually getting lifted.
I would like to introduce you to Coursera and edX, two revolutionary companies that partner with top-tier universities like Harvard, Yale, and M.I.T. to provide everyone with education from professors at these universities, and the best part? It’s completely free.
When I first used Coursera to take Professor Robert Shiller’s “Financial Markets” course, I was amazed at the interactivity and engagement of the online class. This isn’t one of your “free trials for 10 minutes” or ad-filled videos, and when I watched the video, I felt like I was a Yale student sitting in the lecture hall of Professor Shiller.
Additionally, Coursera also made sure that students understand complex ideas, and have Teacher Assistant (TA) sessions where a TA thoroughly goes through subjects taught in a lesson to make sure that the lesson can be easily understood by students. This feature’s importance cannot be overstated, and I have used it numerous times when I am stuck on a difficult concept.
I would also like to commend organizations like Coursera and edX because they are companies that help provide great education to many more people, especially in times of the pandemic. When many people lost their jobs, they were able to take new classes to expand their skill pool to find new sources of income. For high schoolers such as myself, we might be interested in classes that our schools do not offer, and these organizations offer new ways for us to pursue our passions.
As Steve Jobs put it, “there’s always ‘one more thing’ to learn!” And on behalf of many other students on online learning platforms, I would like to say to these organizations, “Thank you.”