Do you want to study a MOOC?

Do you want to study a MOOC?

Before starting a MOOC you should bear in mind that it does not look like the majority of courses to which we are used to. The most important aim of a MOOC is to teach you the skills or knowledge that you need for your personal or professional development. So it is very important to determine which are your personal objectives as well as a willingness to achieve them.
 

General points

If you are interested in enrolling in a MOOC, you can take a look at the MOOC courses in Coursera.

In the structure of the course you can find a variable number of modules and lessons, where you will generally find the following elements:

  • Videos of the lessons (lectures)
  • Slides used when recording the video (PDF)
  • Support material
  • Autoevaluation assessments - quizzes, peer assessments and/or programming assessments, so that you can track your evolution
  • Final exam

The course also has communication tools: mails and discussion forums, as well as scheduled discussion activities.

Tips for taking a MOOC

MOOCs are student-centred. That means that students are responsible for their own learning and you there for need to be self-disciplined.
 
The course will give you a large amount of information in terms of lessons, topics, shared reflections with other students and lecturers and the additional resources and so you may get a feeling of overload. Therefore you remember the following aspects:

  • It is important to familiarise yourself with the platform and all the elements that it is made up of. Make sure you know where all the different work spaces are before you start. And make sure you are aware of the course structure and the requirements for passing it.
  • Plan your time; for each course you will find the estimated workload (you will be expected to dedicate 3 to 8 hours a week). The number of hours of study and work is a guideline only and you can always spend more or less time according to your personal objectives.
  • Be selective with the information you receive.
  • It is important that you are in a study-like environment that will facilitate the comprehension of the written and audiovisual material. It is also a good idea to have some means of taking notes handy. You can use applications such as Evernote or Livebinder, for example. Remember that you always be able to download the video subtitles in text format.
  • It is a good idea to share your reflections, doubts or any other comment with your colleagues using the forums but you do not have to respond to all of everyone else?s comments. Just engage in the ones that interest you and visit them from time to time. The most important thing is to achieve your objective.
  • Be brief when you participate using a maximum of 250 words. And above all be respectful.
  • Before creating a new thread, look for what you need in the discussion forums. If you don't find it, then create a new thread.
  • Use descriptive titles for the forums.
  • Get in touch with other students with the same interests as you.
  • Don?t be afraid to ask questions as that is the way to keep on top of the content.
  • Evaluations normally take place weekly, at the end of the module, and at the end of the course (the final exam).

It is important that you are relaxed and motivated. Remember you are doing the course for yourself: self-learning is very satisfying and the MOOCs make it easy for you.