Thursday, January 02, 2014

How to make MOOC courses more effective ..? or FAQ on MOOC courses ..

I am being contacted by students on a continuous basis on how they can get maximum benefits out of the MOOC courses they attend. They ask me many questions, some of them are listed below for the benefit of the people of the world ..

1. What are the benefits to me in terms of recognition for the course by employers ?

Presently MOOC courses are not recognised by anybody. It is done only to gain knowledge.
             2. Will Harvard or MIT issue the certificate ?

             Even though the courses are being by Professors from these respectable Universities,
             at present the  MOOC courses only carry the website names like coursera, edx, udacity and so on.

3. I do not find any topics of my interest here. Can I find something interesting ?

go to, it is an aggregator site for all MOOC courses all over the world.

            4. What courses do you suggest I take ? I am in interested in so and so and I do not find  
                 any related course.

            That I cannot help you much. Take someinterested course and then build up on it.

5. How can you check whether I am taking the course and taking the quiz or not , ie. there is no impersonation ?

There is no way the MOOC provider can check it as of now.

             6. Why should i do this course ?

              For the sake of improving your knowledge.
7. Can I get a certificate for free ?

If one completes the course, takes all the assignments and takes all the quizzes and scores above a minimum level , as specified by the course Co-ordinator, you are eligible for a Certificate of accomplishment.
              8. How much should I pay for the course / certificate ?

              It is freely offered by all the sites, but charges for some courses extra money. 
              Coursera charges $50, if you want to get a signed certificate from the site / professors.

9. How many courses can I take at a time ?

As many as you want ..

             10. Can I convert this into credits by MIT / Harvard etc ?

              Not possible presently ..

11. What is the minimum education qualifications for these courses ?

There are no pre-requisites for most of the courses, but for some statistics and other quantitative courses, you may need some basic quants knowledge.

              12. Why are these Universities giving these courses for free ?
               Just working for a social cause and seeing that education reaches everybody, not only a 
               privileged few ..

13.  Are there any Indian Institutes offering courses ?

IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay

              14. Are there any practical components to be done as part of the course requirements ?

               As of now it is difficult to get participants do the practical components than getting them 
               to watch some interesting practical videos. 

15. How frequently are courses repeated ?

Most of the times courses run twice in a year ..

               16. The reading material prescribed for some courses are not available within India. What should I                    do ?

                Mail the Professor or the teaching assistant, he should give you some other book locally 
                available which would suffice for the course.

17. What are the penalty for late submission of assignments ?

A downgrading of the credits, you may not be eligible for the certificate of accomplishment .. 

                18. Suppose I do not want to do the assignments or tests, am I still eligible to 
                 get some recognition of having watched some related material, like auditing ..

                 Yes, auditing is permitted in some of the courses, please go through the initial introduction 
                 to the course put up by the concerned Professor. 
19. How long will it take for MOOC offering Institutes/websites to have test centres across the world in important cities and ensure there is no impersonation ?

We look forward to that innovation coming up soon from the MOOC providers .. If that happens, MOOC will be a true leveling force for the people of the world who look upto good academic qualifications.

                 20. How many courses can I do altogether ?

                 As much as you have free time ..

21. Can I offer a MOOC course on a topic which I am well versed and get others to register for free ?

If you have access to heavy bandwidth, large memory servers, yes, you can do it. Google offers free software for MOOC called coursebuilder. You can check this link for more ..

                 22. What is the revenue model to ensure funds for maintaining the servers, 
                 high bandwidth Internet lines etc ?

                Take fees from students .. huh !! I doubt there will be much takers, depends on quality
                 as how udacity is doing..

23. Is there any regulatory agency across the world to grade these courses ?

Not any as I know..

                 24. Heard that Google offers a software to setup a MOOC course. Will I get someone 
                  to set up the server for me ?

                 Try at the course builder website of google itself.

25. Can I introduce advertisements along with the course content to make this offering totally free for end users and profitable for the agency offering it for the public ?

That is a good business model ..

                 26. Are there any restrictions on age ?

                  Not at all ..

27. Is it necessary that I have to complete the course according to the time schedule ? Can I take part of the course later if I inform beforehand ?

You are one among thousands taking the course. No special arrangements can be made between the students and the faculty for extending the course etc..

                 28. Are there any archives to check for old MOOC courses content / videos, responses 
                 from students ?

                  No ..

29. Can I integrate a MOOC course in my academic offering at a conventional brick and mortar University ? Should I ask for permission ?

That is what holds the promise for these MOOC courses. MOOC providers may be looking forward to that happening in the near future ..

                 30. Can I get the grades/statistics of scores of other participants in the course so that I can 
                  know where I stand ?

                  You mean your percentile scores ? That should not be a problem. Just try !

31. I want to pursue higher / doctoral studies in the area. How can MOOC help ?

Presently MOOC courses are not having that much rigour as to make it as requirements for starting research work. Hopefully in future, some of the courses would develop enough rigour to transform to such levels ..

                 32. What is a good aggregator site for MOOC courses ?


Hope you found the answers useful. Now join the MOOC and make learning an experience ...

george easaw..

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