Online learning is a modern and innovative method that is developing and expanding daily and earning a reputation as the best type of self-learning.
Traditional learning (learning through formal educational institutions) faces many difficulties despite its reliance on some modern and electronic methods in various fields that make a large segment of students turn to the new style of learning via the Internet. Where traditional learning is generally student-oriented, unlike online learning.
The events of the online courses take place outside the walls of traditional educational institutions and depend on a solid and strong foundation, which is the Internet, with its countless features, which increases the expansion of online courses. MOOCs are one of the most important tools for online learning. So what are MOOCs?
The Massive Open Online Course is a literal translation of the English term Massive Open Online Course, and each word in the term has an important central connotation:
Course: It indicates that work is an educational activity aimed at pushing its affiliates to acquire new knowledge fundamentally. It adopts the learning structure in terms of having a clear curriculum, evaluation activities, and lectures.
Massive: It indicates a large number of associates necessary for the success of the learning process, which reaches numbers that traditional educational institutions cannot deal with.
Open denotes two meanings:
The course is open to all without any preconditions for admission of associates, as is the case in traditional educational institutions.
The course is free to enroll for all. However, in some cases, specific costs may be imposed.
Online: It has the following implications:
Unlimited sharing by time or place.
Interaction between virtual affiliates and most of the time, without any personal knowledge between them.
Embracing innovation, particularly PCs and the Internet, as methods for correspondence and learning cooperation.
American Bryan Alexander and Canadian Dave Cormier were the ones who coined the term MOOCs on open online courses. The first such course was called Connectives and Connective Knowledge, and registration for it is still ongoing today.
The MOOCs are aimed at all student segments, especially university students, all the way to experts in the field of education. The courses of these platforms have many benefits and features:
1 Diversity in terms of reference and content:
MOOCs target students of all educational levels, regardless of school or major. Any student can easily access the courses or educational programs he is looking for that are in line with his branch or field of study.
It is also distinguished by a diversity of content, which distinguishes it from traditional learning, by using images, sounds, and texts targeting more than one part of the brain to build a faster and longer-lasting memory. In addition to using the tests in a puzzle or in the form of a game that attracts the student’s focus and interest.
2 Lowest material cost:
Online learning programs are a financially better option than traditional learning. As many MOOCs offer many of their courses for free or for a small fee compared to the fees for traditional learning. In addition, universities have already begun to recognize certificates due for completing free MOOCs. These free or low-cost courses offer every student the opportunity to improve their academic standing and meet the requirements of many universities.
3 A more comfortable learning environment:
The student can join the course anywhere and in the best environment of his choice. That is, the student will not be forced to compete with time, road traffic and weather conditions, or being late due to the lack of a place for the car, and he will not be forced to leave his work or miss a family meeting, as the MOOCs give the student the freedom to choose the best and most suitable time and place of study for him, even during work, the student can complete an entire course without any delay. Also, these courses are not based on actual attendance.
In the case of traditional learning, the student must adhere to a specific, restricted, and binding schedule in group work, but now this is no longer necessary because modern technology has provided ways of communication without the need to be in a specific place and time. All of these things make the most of your time.
4 Better interaction and greater ability to focus:
MOOCs provide students who have a problem with face-to-face communication and interaction with a better opportunity to enter into discussions or chats as the dialogue rooms provide opportunities to exchange views on the topics presented, which increases the chances of benefiting from the opinions and proposals presented and merging them with the student’s views, which helps to form a solid foundation. As the learner, he has strong and sound knowledge and opinions, through what he acquired from knowledge and skills through chat rooms.
Many students also asserted that online courses provide better focus and easier memorization thanks to the multiple elements included in the sequence of courses to reinforce the message to be conveyed to students, such as video files, sound effects, riddles, interaction, absence of disturbance from colleagues or any activities outside the scope of the lesson in the classroom and others. . There is also the possibility to revisit the different sections of the lessons that may not be understood the first time.
5 keep working:
University costs impose on many students the necessity to work alongside their studies, but the flexibility that MOOCs enjoy allows the student to continue his work while enrolling in any course.
6 The ability to accommodate large numbers of students:
Many students fall into problems of filling vacancies or running out of seats. These problems disappear with MOOCs. The number of students is only related to the ability of the server to allow the largest possible number of students to access the course (which is very large numbers reaching millions of students).