Why I love MOOCs

Back in high school and college, I would wonder why choosing one subject meant not choosing others. If I pick Physics, it meant I couldn’t study History or Psychology. I would think of the students abroad who, when you ask what they study, say something like Astrophysics and Greek, or Music and Political Science.
Yes, I hear you. “If you are motivated enough, you will learn it yourself.” True, but where does one start? Yes, Google is our best friend and we have evolved to find our way through a labyrinth of links – reading and learning, picking and dropping things along the way. There is a rush to these unique journeys. My “link journey” in learning something could be different from yours. I might have started with “how tall was Napolean” and ended up in quotes by Louis XVI.
But if you are looking for focus and structure, a Massively Open Online Course is a good bet. Thousands of other students doing the course, completely free, and great resources from some of the top universities in the world. It is almost too good to be true.
When I first found out about this, I went crazy signing up for courses from Songwriting to Psychology to E-learning. After the initial insanity had passed, I took a deep breath and looked at the time needed to do all these courses. They lasted from 5 weeks to 2 months or more. To get the most of each course, I needed to pick wisely and drop some courses. And so it started.
When I couldn’t catch up on all the lectures, I took my time to finish each one by paying attention. This meant giving up on the certification from the university as the course was long gone while I was still listening to some lectures. When I did complete the course, I was quite proud of myself.
 I am not always able to complete all the assignments, or get very involved in the discussion forums, but I did find the resources priceless in opening my mind. And that is what learning should do, right?
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