MOOCs: 5 Quick Questions about Free Online Education


    MOOCs: 5 Quick Questions about Free Online Education

    Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have disrupted the way education is delivered by making high-quality specialty courses available to millions of learners worldwide. MOOCs are a great option for students and professionals who want to enhance their knowledge of a particular subject while having the freedom to study online from the convenience of their homes.

    Here are five quick facts that will help you understand how MOOCs work.

    What is an MOOC?

    As the name indicates, MOOCs are educational courses delivered online to a large number of people all at once. The best thing about these courses is that they can be availed free of cost, which makes high-quality higher education available to those who cannot afford it.

    Because of the widespread success of MOOCs offered by renowned colleges and universities, more and more institutions around the world are introducing open online courses in a range of subjects.

    How can one register for an MOOC?

    One of the greatest benefits of MOOCs is that they are very easy to access. You can go to your chosen institution’s website or an aggregator website such as Coursera and register for an MOOC using your name and email address without having to worry about conventional qualifying criteria such as education background or work experience.

    To learn more, visit for in-depth information on accredited online bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees; accelerated classes; competency-based education; and open courses and MOOCs.

    What all does one need to start an MOOC?

    As the course is delivered online, all you need is a computer and an internet connection. If the MOOC is delivered through lectures, you will also need headphones. Above all, you need to commit your time to successfully complete the course.

    As the coursework is self-paced, you can sign up for multiple online courses at a time if you feel you’ll be able to do justice to them all and to your own learning.

    Are MOOCs graded?

    No. With thousands of people taking a MOOC, it is not possible for professors to grade each and every student. The very premise of MOOCs is that they are accessible to anyone who is interested in learning regardless of their education or professional qualifications. This further means that free versions of online open courses have no exams or assignments and are not graded.

    However, there are internal grading systems in place in some courses that allow learners to proceed to the next level only if they pass the previous one.

    Are all MOOCs offered free of cost?

    Yes, most MOOCs are completely free. Sometimes an institution will charge a small fee at the end of an MOOC for issuing a certificate or a credential indicating that you successfully completed the course.

    Because of their flexible pace and structure, most MOOCs are not counted for academic credit, except in cases where the learner is already enrolled in a formal education institution and is taking the course to obtain a certificate in the said subject.