An open course, also known as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), are online courses that are open to all to participate (unlimited number of students) and open access electronically, via the web. According to DW Akademie, “Usually, there is no evaluation of participation and no official degree granted at the end.” These are generally free online courses open to all, that intuitions must cover the cost or some will partner with organizations to sponsor the course. While some may require a fee for students to receive a certificate of completion or earn credit, according to Educause.edu.
A few examples would be:
- Kahn Academy, a nonprofit organization who works to bring online learning materials around the world.
- Duolingo is a language learning platform that boasts as “fun and easy way to learn new language” which is accessible to anyone with internet access.
- Google Primer, is a free app that provides open access to all who want to learn digital marketing basics.
- Lynda.com provides video tutorials for free and is “…one of the biggest resources for educational and training courses on the internet,” according to Elearning Super Stars.
The access, availability and cost to students are just some of the advantages to these type of courses. Wikipedia has complete information on these courses in terms of their history, student and teacher experiences, completion rates as well as challenges. Some of the challenges that have been identified is the chaotic learning environment that can be created when content is user generated, the students completing the free online course with similar vigor as paid courses, language barriers, and “…content will be reshaped and reinterpreted by the massive student body, making the course trajectory difficult for instructors to control.”
I currently use Lynda.com in my courses as way to reinforce concepts and ideas introduced in the class. I like that it is another source in a different format (video) that adds on to the material in their textbook as well as other resources I provide. I generally provide a lecture, assign a textbook reading then provide links to other resources on the topic at hand. Then assign discussion questions for students to answer after they have reviewed all the material. Very similar to what we see in this course.
Hootsuite Academy offers a free online course for Social Media Management that I will consider using in my Social Media Marketing class next semester. I would put a link into an assignment board for students to access, take the course and then turn in the completion documentation that Hootsuite provides to them.