I want to take you a journey of knowledge and learning, through the world of MOOCs. I guess we should start with what a MOOC is.
The acronym MOOC stands for 'Massively open online course'. In essence, these are college/university level courses, that are accessible to anyone online. Generally created by Universities such as Standford, Open university and large organisations like Microsoft and AWS.
Now we know what they are, let's get into what I discovered in my journey.
I start doing MOOCs 8 years ago with a course called "Learning how to learn" on a MOOC platform called Coursera. The course was short 12 hours long. Before I started I thought "12 hours, this cant is that in-depth" OH my was I wrong. The content was not only engaging but also very informative.
That was it I was bitten by the learning bug. Over the following years and still today, I find a course to do when I have a little spare time. At the time of writing this, I have completed 138 of these courses.
That's right 138 courses nearly 2000 hours of voluntary learning. Covering a wide variety of topics from religions, Plantalogy, Mental health, Lots of techs related and even attempted to learn how to speak Chinese.
I imagine by now you are wondering Why? Why would I do this? Surely you can't remember it all……
Your right and wrong! I don't recall everything from this course, just like most people don't recall what they had for breakfast 3 days ago. While this might sound like I wasted my time in doing these courses, it wasn't a waste at all. What I gained in appreciation of other perceptive outweighs the finer details
Out of these courses, with everyone I completed, I gained a broader perspective of the world we live in and the people in it.
I don't proclaim to be an expert on any of it. Still, I feel all of these courses have made me appreciate the world from the perspective of other people and cultures. It also taught me to appreciate the work of others, as every one's work is as important as the next.
I will be continuing to do courses when I have the time. However, I will be mixing it up a little with other forms of more informal learning.
Including Live streaming where you can with the material provider of the content (shameless plug for myself – Copperbeardy on Twitch) directly and get quick feedback.
The other is through gamification of learning, particularly in the coding area with such products as Scratch, Blocky and my favourite TwilioQuest.
One final point!
you can do Moocs for free on most platforms below but you won't get a certificate, but you get access to the same material.