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Making the Most of Online Training with MOOCSE

If you aren't already taking advantage of MOOCs to advance your IT education, then you should be. And there's nothing better to maximize your immersion in online learning than MOOCSE.

MOOCSE online learning conceptSince 2006 or so, there’s been an increasing proliferation of Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs. The M in MOOC represents the massive scale of such courses, which aim at “unlimited participation” in theory, and in some instances may actually involve tens of thousands of students once they’re actively up and running.

 

In addition to providing courses with lectures, some MOOCs also include all the trappings of an honest-to-gosh academic experience. That is, they come with online communities to facilitate student interaction, regular “virtual office hours” with faculty, access to teaching assistants, labs, links to reading materials, and more.

 

The aim of all those extras, of course, is to make the experience as much like a real college-level course as possible. Students who want academic credit must pay for that benison, but those who simply want to learn can do so at no cost to them, other than their time and effort.

 

 

MOOCs Live in, and Depend on, “The Cloud”

 

What really caused MOOCs to take off and establish a major presence in learning and training circle is the massive proliferation of cloud computing technology. This is what led the New York Times to refer to 2012 as “The Year of the MOOC,” as it documented edX, Udacity, and Coursera as three major players in the MOOC space.

 

That's in addition to offerings from all kinds of big-name universities, including virtually the entire Ivy League, plus Duke, Stanford, MIT, and state universities in California, Illinois, and Virginia.

 

Today, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure offer more-or-less-canned MOOC environments for use in the cloud, along with all the scaffolding needed to support educational content inside several of the major MOOC platforms (e.g. edX, Coursera, Udacity, and others). There are, in fact, thousands of MOOCs now readily available to anyone and everyone who might wish to partake of such offerings.

 

The massive availability of massive open online courses, however, raises an interesting and challenging question: “How does one find and select a MOOC for learning?”