Millions join the education free-for-all on the internet
Free online courses allow anyone, regardless of educational qualifications, to study whatever they like
The defining characteristics of the MOOC is that it is open to anyone regardless of educational background, it’s free to take part – all you need is an internet connection and students – are encouraged to interact through online forums and, in many cases, help grade each other’s work.
I had an opportunity with the last year to hear Andrew Ng, a professor a Stanford University who is the founder of Coursera which offers several of these courses free of charge:
“Coursera got started nearly two years ago when I put one of my courses online and it reached 100,000 students,” says Ng. “To put that number in context from the instructor perspective, I usually teach 400 students in my class at Stanford and to reach a comparably-sized audience I would have had to teach that class for 250 years.”
What are the "what ifs" for us?From The Irish Times Published July 18, 2013