How to learn with Moocs and choose the right ones

There is a thread that starts from the sharing of educational reources (oer), passes through the open online courses (OpenCourseWare) and get up to the MOOC. MOOC means Massive Online Open Courses, often offered by large and prestigious universities for free.

The first experiments of  open online course and with large numbers of students  go back into 2008 (# cck08) and were focused on the interaction amongs online students. One of the interesting aspects was the exploration of models for online education based on multiple paths, not defined one. The potential of the video in the network, thanks to the  costs reduction for the production and the ease  you can access and share them, gave birth to the Khan Academy and the flipped classroom and the proliferation of recorded video-lectures available online,

The model of the MOOC is not Telematic University: they propose  the same university organization, with inscriptions to annual  courses, exams, credits. With MOOC the student has the opportunity to access an buffet à la cart, all-you-can-learn, in which courses are available for free, there are no prerequisites to enter, do not pay anything, and the contents have good quality, sometimes also excellent. A barrier to access to courses, which  however request a minimum of digital skills, a PC and a broadband connection, can be linguistic, because most of the offer is in English. Another barrier is that you got a method to learn: if you are not able to self-organize, often do not get to the end of the course. But especially in the face of a very broad offer, how to choose which courses to follow? The offer is really huge and little systematized, and nobody teaches his students how to take advantages of this opportunity, which can be integrative of its offer.

In this post I want to focus on this issue, how to choose a Mooc or – better-  is it possible for a student to build itself a coherent course of study?

It was  very interesting to participate in the first #Moochour – a Twitter chat that took place on April 14 (here the Storify), it was organized by @impactioneers with Laurie Pickar as guest, who has invented the No-Pay MBA.

Laurie decided to build itself a path equivalent to a Master in Business Admistration, enrolling at MOOC promoted by Universities of the highest level: its story is told here. Laurie Pickard, American and graduate, is currently living in Uganda, for family reasons. He documented his project on his blog No-Pay MBA and has now decided to capitalize on her expertise by offering a similar service, through the No-Pay-MBA 2.0, also if she says it will not be completely free.  She said that in 5 days received 50 accessions, when she launched the idea. Then she had an article in Fortune  and now has 1200 pre-registered.

During #moochour,  5 questions were posed:

What is the value of Mooc for you? – Which was answered, the possibility of learning what I like, the convenience, flexibility, the ability to be upgraded without having to physically go to college, curiosity


Which Mooc do you recommend to a friend? and then there is’ a Mooc that ignited a change in your life and how? How did you choose to subscribe to a MOOC? What will be the next step for the MOOC?

Each of these questions had interesting answers based on the experiences of the participants, who have changed business strategies or came up with new projects (as Laurie i.e.). The next step for Mooc following to  Laurie is that companies will begin to use them to hire people (a French article says that recruiters consider positively the participation for the MOOC, because shows curiosity and interest, and I would add capacity ‘to self-organize , proactiveness’ and excellent time management). Another aspect will be the value of the degree that might be questioned

My question was about how to recognize a the quality of a Mooc and I got  unexpected answer: the quality of the assignments,  in contrast to the idea that it is the “VIP” teacher  to make a quality  MOOC. Another key aspect for deciding what mooc to enroll is the word of mouth, the evaluation of friends and other opinions: again a surprise, it’s not the reputation of the University,

An interesting aspect was that of platforms: in addition to the well known, Coursera, Udemy etc. they  cited two platforms that I didn’t know, specialized ofr software developers. One is called The odinproject and the other is  – the worl’s largest online bootcamp . offers immersive courses with real tutors who follow you, it’s not b free but I invite everyone to visit the page that compares the different systems of online learning in the web. The systems are represented as part of a galaxy, and the courses offered compared by duration, cost, for an indicator of 500 hours of experience that consider the minimum in accordance with the thesis that it takes 10,000 hours to naster a skill (see. Outliers, M. Gladwell), the hour/cost you pay  (if the courses have a fixed term) and finally a classification for profile, like hobbyist,  professional and looking job seeker. The page is this

In an hour of #moochour I learned that #mooc could represent the next case of “economy of dormant assets” because of people like Laurie Pickard, that they  will not change  universities but will change students and they will have an impact on the market Labour, and that Europe must change tack.

So much food for thought for us  in @Eumoocs 

* Titolo della foto: Massive Young Stars Trigger Stellar Birth, from NASA Multimedia Page. by @Temari09 

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