Online Courses – Flexible Learning Systems


There are a number of students who have started opting for online courses. These Massive Open Online Courses also known as MOOC are attracting students in a huge way. The idea is to put up interactive coursework and lecture videos on the internet so that top university education can reach many more students around the globe and promote different ways of learning.

The MOOC courses have increased rapidly in a year’s time. This idea has pulled in the Big-name schools as well. Top Institutions like Harvard University, Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and some other companies as well have collaborated with MOOC providers to put their courses online and free for everyone. Many schools are also now putting up paid courses online to enlarge their student base, reduce the education costs and provide actual college credits.
Though MOOC courses are a boom to education system, there are few areas which demand alterations.

Learning demands interaction – Many students have felt that they feel disengaged and isolated while starring at the computer screens for a long time alone. This is one reason why people lose interest in online courses in the long run and tend to drop out and leave them unfinished. Students look for interpersonal interaction that binds their interest. For this many instructors have started recording audio comments for assignments submitted and also upload a fresh video on the course update every week.
Course discussions lead to better performance – Just sitting on your screen and reading on the course material may not yield good results for you. The more you discuss about the course topics on discussion forums the better you may perform. The more you talk the better you understand. Posting on discussion forums will not only expand your knowledge base and clear your concepts, but it will boost your interest in the subject.
Long Lectures make them loose interest – MOOCs have found out that student are unlikely to sit and listen carefully to long lectures. They get distracted very easily and find it difficult to concentrate. Successful MOOCs have managed to handle this by breaking up the lessons through problem sets and quizzes that need to be solved before moving on. It has also been found that students do not watch videos that are longer than 6 to 9 minutes. Such studies have compelled the professors to rethink on their style of teaching. The trend says that lectures alone cannot yield results. It has to be made stimulating with the use of mental exercises and challenges.
MOOCs have not worked for all – Great educational opportunity like MOOCs are not productive for everyone. Statistics prove that student who take online courses have not performed as well as face to face ones. Other reason for some students to underperform is lack of adequate facilities like personal computers and broadband internet.

MOOCs have mostly been used for science and maths courses online. But now with an upsurge of this style of education courses are also being offered in philosophy and psychology. Student’s feedbacks say that these courses equally appreciated and their completion rates are the same as in maths and science courses.

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