I wonder how many of you took a MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses). These courses are created by top universities around the world and put out there for the public to use and enhance their knowledge. I normally ask my students to take a course or two that matches their study interests just to ascertain that what they want to study matches their inner needs and expectations.

The courses can be in any field, Business, medicine, psychology, filmmaking, creative writing, philosophy, computing, neuroscience, etc. These courses are a semester-long, free and can be taken in isolation or as part of a degree. If you want the certification you will need to pay for it. The last one I took was on happiness, thoroughly enjoyed it.

Pandora is the first one that was created to host these courses, you will need to register first and receive your login. A Pandora’s box will be open for your eyes to feast on knowledge.  The 2582 courses (today’s count) are created by 161 universities across 29 countries. One can take a course or all courses, there is no limit, and every time you take one, you would want to take more, as you will really learn.  They are done through videos, and also have written words and you are required to do assignments.  The course is a semester-long, and at the end, you can either stop or examine, if you want to be examined all you need is to pay a small amount e.g. 40 dollars.

Mooc List is another site that provides lower-level courses (can be NQF level 2 or 3) but is geared towards learners who want to learn a particular skill for example programming, learning how to use Excel, to higher level courses such as Medicinal Chemistry, Accounting Analysis II, and so on. The courses can be in English, French or any language as it depends on the university that placed the course on MOOCs, to begin with.   The courses will cater for your ability and one can read all the sessions again and again until one learns it.

What I liked about these courses is that you don’t really need to rote learn them, the way these were developed makes them stick to your mind.

Of course, many universities offer some of their programmes fully online, however, these will be for a fee but it’s not equivalent to their fee that is imposed on face-to-face learning.

I was suggesting to some schools that their students take these MOOCs as an add-on to their knowledge, and to be ready for university studies; nowadays the students are asked to do numerous extra curricula studies, so why not start this at school.   Besides these courses will provide a great introduction to university life. It can provide the students with the extra knowledge, discussion lines, and experience in studies that are unrelated to their major.

Lifelong learners around the world are having a feast on these courses, we need to immolate this in the gulf and the middle east.