Using MOOCs – for professional development

by | Career, Inspiration

MOOC stands for Massive, Open, Online Courses (Moocs)

Massive because millions sign up for these, world-wide
Open because most are free, and you don’t have to have specific qualifications to sign up (although sometimes a particular background is recommended).
Online and available on the web via your phone as well as on your computer.

Course as they are taught over a period of time, often 2-8 weeks, and needing 2-6 hours a week of your involvement.
These are helpful when you want to learn something new, for work, professional development and to help make a career move. Many online courses can be interesting to expand your knowledge and keep your brain active.
The number of Universities and training providers offer MOOCs is growing, and many MOOCs are free, although you can pay for a certificate of completion. These organisations create MOOCs for several reasons including

  • Marketing and reputation building
  • Research dissemination
  • Supplementary resources for existing students
  • Social mission

Moocs can be found via

MOOC List this is the list of all free courses.
Coursera Take the world’s best courses, online for free. Links from here to 665 courses
edX masses of course across a range of subjects from Architecture to Social Science, the courses are at introductory, intermediate and advanced level and alongside English available in Spanish, Chinese and more.
FutureLearn Many short courses from universities with a wide subject base
Open Learn over 1000 free courses including popular ones linked to the Blue Planet TV show and another on Digital Forensics. They say anyone can learn for free on OpenLearn but creating an account lets you set up a personal learning profile which tracks your course progress and gives you access to Statements of Participation and digital badges you earn along the way.

You can also gain much knowledge via Ted Talks.

e.g., I’ve done a search on TED talks for Leadership there are 773 so you can skim and see which appeal

Grovo – I’ve recently found out about Grova, as a good way of learning professional skills via video. It’s looking good and you complete an online short questionnaire, and it suggests courses to complete
You may also want to pay for some online training which is much more cost effective than a residential training course. For example, if you want to update your IT skills you could go this site.

I’d love to know if you have taken any MOOCs and how you got on. But don’t forget TED talks too.

This article first appeared on the Amazing People site

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