MOOCs: Pros and Cons

MOOCs: Pros and Cons

The abbreviation MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Courses and is being touted as a better way to offer education. This is a revolutionary method to provide higher education to students. Many of the professors are from professors from universities all over the world. One thing to keep in mind with the use of MOOCs is they are still in the early stages of development. Their acceptance should be compared to the challenges that exist.


This is one of the biggest factors for students who are thinking about enrolling in MOOCs available on the Internet. Many students who attend a college or university may worry about being able to pay for a course. The high tuition fees paid for traditional courses are not necessary for with MOOCs. These will typically be offered free of charge to anyone who wants to enroll. The only requirement needed is a PC that has a connection to the Internet. The only fee that is required is when a certificate of completion is ordered.


Observers who are on the fence about MOOCs often wonder is they would be more popular if they had not been introduced at esteem colleges. MIT, Stanford, and Harvard are a few of the top tier colleges to offer the MOOC model for education. The main reason many students enroll in these programs is due to having top quality professors teaching every class. There are few options for students to have an option to receive instruction from esteemed professors. This is often why people may overlook the bad aspects of these programs.


One of the major downsides of any MOOC is they often lack accreditation. This means students will not receive any academic credit for completing a course or program. Universities and colleges often do not recognize certificates of completion obtained by a student. There may be a possibility of having the coursework of MOOCs considered as college credit. However, anyone considering enrolling in MOOC programs should not have high hopes of receiving college credits for their time.


The student to faculty ratio in a traditional university is often an important factor. Each professor needs to be able to to have an attention level that is equal for each student in their class. The fewer student number for a traditional college class means a professor is able to address the weaknesses and shortcomings of every student. They are able to provide motivation and support that is needed for them to succeed. This is not possible for a MOOC program as the number of students will overwhelm a professor. This is one reason students who struggle often do not meet their desired results.


Students who are enrolled in MOOC programs have no obvious motivation to excel. Classes are free to those who want to take a class and there is no financial incentive for completion. The best way to use a certificate of completion from MOOCs is to add it as a skill to a resume.

There are many advantages and disadvantages provided by MOOCs. However, programs are still in the beginning stages and more time is needed to reach a reasonable conclusion.

Author infoThis article was written by Matt Kruchten, the creative writer at Matt is one of Notre Dame’s finest. His insatiable love for data and numbers coupled with a perfect 800 on the Math S.A.T. make him an asset to their team.

Image license: Creative Commons

Updated: July 19, 2018 — 7:05 am

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