MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are free non-degree online courses with open unlimited global enrollment to anyone who desires to learn, and regardless of their current educational level.
For the last 10 years, different private and public initiatives providing free access to knowledge through online classes have emerged in different world locations (with the United States as precursor). MOOCs are open online courses for a large audience of students based on open licensing of content, open structure and learning goals, interactions between students and teachers and among students through online social networks. These online courses give the opportunity for students and any individual to register, learn, interact and contribute to the course material by providing different local perspectives and case studies.
The local context
With the current crisis, higher education might be harder to achieve for some European households. Despite low barriers to public universities’ access in many European States (See Eurypedia/ European Encyclopedia on National Education Systems ), a growing number of students have to work apart their studies or take out a loan to finance their education. In the United States, this phenomenon has already reached an unprecedented level: total student debt ($1 Trillion) became the second debt item of American Households total debt in 2010 (after housing debt and before credit card debt). In Europe, this phenomenon is growing at a fast pace. In Great Britain, graduates now face an average debt of £21,198 after they finish university, taking 11 years on average to pay back and substantial impacts on personal stability and projections (SOURCE : http://www.eurograduate.com/article.asp?id=3765&pid=2). In France, the latest study from the Student Life Observatory (Observatoire de la vie étudiante (OVE)) showed that 6,4 % of the French Students contracted a loan in 2009.
Added value of the project and making resources available
Education remains the best protection to fight against unemployment and precarity. According to Eurostat, in 2010 the average Unemployment rate at EU27 Level was clearly lower for persons with higher education (4,9%) than for persons that only completed secondary education (14,2%). With the numerous possibilities of the Internet, Education can open up to a larger audience providing qualitative interactive education material such as MOOCS. Some free online modules are already acknowledged and translated into university learning credits and Free certificates.
- Open and Free material: open licensing of content, open structure and learning goals,
- Connectivism based approach: Connectivism is a theory of learning adding “know-where” (i.e. the understanding of where to find the knowledge when it is needed) to the usual "know-how" and "know-what". It pushed forward the diversity of opinions within knowledge ; the process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources and maintening and nurturing these connections for continual learning,
MOOCs general website works as a directory that lists down existing providers of these online classes http://www.MOOCs.co. MOOC LIST is a database on the upcoming available courses in any study field. MOOCS online litterature review The English Wikipedia page as well as the French one provide all the interesting background on MOOCS projects. How to take a MOOC and earn College Credit : http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/06/15/earning-college-credit-moocs-through-prior-learning-assessment http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/coming-to-a-computer-near-you/article3650305.ece