Monday, 8 November 2021

Where to find some learning

It has been some time since I have written anything on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). However, it is always worth a reminder. 

There are six main English language post-secondary MOOC platforms, in decreasing size order (and as best as I can establish them): Udemy; FutureLearn; Alison; Coursera; edX; and Udacity (Baxter, 2021; BitDegree, 2021; Bowden, 2017; Wikipedia, 2021). There are also two skills-based platforms, those of Lynda (aka LinkedIn Learning), and PluralSight (technology and team learning).

Having taken courses on most of these platforms, I would have to say that those I have enjoyed the most were FutureLearn and Udemy. Those which I found the clunkiest and most frustrating to use were edX and Coursera. I was unable to complete a course in Lynda because of permissions problems which were never satisfactorily resolved, so I just gave up. 

When it comes to quality, I found the quality the most variable on Udemy. Sometimes the courses were great: at others the quality was awful. I have experienced consistently good short courses from FutureLearn. Coursera courses always seem to me to be (a) slightly too long, and (b) over-assessed. The edX course platform is simply far too disorganised and fragmented, though I have learned many useful things through attending courses on that site. 

Finally, there are now many 'broker' sites with good MOOC search capacity, so you enter their portal, and they 'manage' your micro-credentials for you, while clipping the ticket on any course fee you may end up paying. These are organisations such as BitDegree, LinkedInLearning, and Class Central. I feel we can safely ignore or avoid these sites.

Instead, I would suggest we go to the website, https://www.mooc-list.com/. This remains a fantastic list of MOOCs for us to indulge ourselves in. Then navigate to the platform where you want to do the course, and sign up at the MOOC platform itself.

Enjoy your learning!


Sam

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