Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are claiming to be the next big thing in the world of education worldwide. The pattern through which these courses provide education is quite unusual and requires a clear understanding. Providing quality education to thousands of beneficiary and that too without taking a penny from them might sound very inspirational and influential, but to carry forward the same with utmost effect is a tough job indeed. Though the project in itself is a commendable one, it needs developments and changes to comprehend with the actual scenario.
It all began with a Canadian academician group who gave it the name MOOC in 2008. Since then there has been a great deal of development in the program and there are many other players like Udacity and Coursera, who made it a worldwide phenomenon. The project that began with taking 25 paying students and around 2200 free enrolled students became a huge success in India as well, holding hands of National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), an initiative by IITs and IISc Bangalore.
Burgeoning technology and the growth of internet worldwide has resulted in huge success for such online free training programs. It has changed the face of higher education system and has provided free information and tutorials over internet to thousands of students and professionals worldwide.
But there are quite a few problems with such a mode of instruction that never allows the students to get a classroom like experience. Providing materials and instructions online is one thing and injecting it to student’s mind is other. According to data available, less than 10% students who enroll themselves for MOOCs actually complete their courses.
The lack of instructional designers, who would help in provide a systematic way for designing, developing and delivering the instructional materials, is the major concern for these MOOCs. Hence it becomes important for MOOCs to appoint trained instructional designers who can develop effective instructional design which can help gather the scattered pieces that are getting supplied to the students via MOOCs.
These MOOCs need to have a qualified bunch of faculty members and instructional designers who can fashion the programme to be more efficient and make it value laden for the students opting for free higher education online. Putting all the students worldwide into one umbrella would also not solve things and thus MOOCs need to think beyond the traditional offline classroom mode of learning. The future in education is here holding hands with MOOCs, but all it needs is a better future plan for the betterment of its beneficiaries.