Hello Readers (all two of you, including my mother),

As I was reading an article for my class on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), I realized where I think MOOCs can really be beneficial. If we make more MOOCs available to K-12 students, maybe there will be higher completion rates throughout the years because students will grow up learning from MOOCs their entire lives.

MOOCs currently face low completion rates and only reach a small portion of the population. According to the MOOCs: Expectations and Reality (Full Report) by Teachers College at Columbia University, hundreds of thousands of people sign-up to take MOOCs and approximately 5-10% of participants even finish the course. On top of that, we still don’t know if those people actually retained any information. Each and every time I see these dismal completion rates, I am shocked and saddened by how few people stick to their commitments and take advantage of these wonderful learning opportunities. But then I realized…I have never even taken the time to sign-up for a MOOC. How can I be so hypocritical of others, when they at least signed up?

I am firm believer that if MOOCs are going to be transformative they need to have higher completion rates. One way of doing this is by starting MOOCs at an early age. The MOOCs: Expectations and Reality Report mentioned a movement to create MOOCs for high school students, which would be fantastic! As long as the MOOCs are prepared with their audience members in mind, it would be a wonderful way to help prepare students for college. I also think it would be great to create MOOCs for younger audiences. MOOCs that are fun, active, and truly engaging can enhance childhood development at a very early age. If we make exceptional MOOCs available for all ages, then perhaps students will grow up appreciating MOOCs, and in turn be more likely to take (and complete them) for years and years to come.

Granted this is coming from a MOOC believer, who has yet to even register for a MOOC. I can’t help but hope that these free, and oftentimes wonderful, resources will make a difference. In order to truly practice what I preach, I am now on my way to research possible MOOCs and am going to sign-up for one before my next blog post. Wish me luck!


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