Have you ever heard of a MOOC? It’s a Massive Open Online Course, 100% online, totally free, and many are offered from top-rated universities like Harvard, Berkely, and MIT, among others.
I’ve been familiar with MOOCs for awhile, but just recently had an opportunity to enroll and complete my first class. There are different platforms that offer MOOCs (two big ones are edX and Coursera), and classes are offered on basically any topic under the sun!
The class I took was a Learning to Learn class offered by University of California San Diego. I teach several online classes and have created my own “learning to learn” module that I include in several of my online classes so I know a lot on the matter (in terms of the research on human memory and learning) and I wasn’t expecting too much out of this MOOC experience. But, y’all…..I was BLOWN AWAY! Like…..it put my little module to shame (and I’m pretty good at what I do. Just sayin’.)
This is the video that hooked me. Check it out:
Not only was the information, in my opinion, transformational (meaning, it transforms any specific discipline and is relevant to anyone who wants to learn anything, whether it’s through formal schooling or otherwise), but I was particularly impressed with the expressive story-telling involved. If you haven’t watched yet – seriously, stop for a second and watch it. It’s only 4 minutes and you can watch at 1.5x speed to make it go faster, too.
You watch yet?
What’d you think? The story about Salvador Dali and Thomas Edison totally hooked me. It was like this “aha” moment. These two geniuses in their own right, in two totally different fields, used a very similar method to help them make novel insights with their work. It was fascinating to me, and got me thinking about creativity, in general. And it didn’t stop there. For this class, nearly all of the videos included this type of story-telling to help you remember the lessons being taught.
Even though I know a lot about the science of human memory and learning, I still learned a TON from this MOOC, and a lot that I’ll incorporate into my own “learning to learn” module for students (note: all the videos from the class are freely available on Youtube!)
Granted, you cannot get official college credit from completing MOOCs. So this is not a way to earn a college degree for free online. But if you are motivated and want to learn more about something, there are MOOCs available for just about every topic under the sun. Computer programming? They’ve got you covered. Statistics? Check. Business management? No problem. It’s really quite impressive how well put together the course are, and the range of topics they cover.
This is not a sponsored post or anything. I was just so impressed with my experience that I had to tell y’all about it! If you want to know how to learn better, I cannot recommend this MOOC enough! But you can get lost in all types of different topics, too. 🙂
Have you ever taken a MOOC before? What was your experience?