By Selena Larson, 3/8/14
MOOCs, or massive open online courses, are quickly becoming technology darlings. Companies like Coursera, Udacity, edX and others provide college-caliber online courses taught by professors from the most prestigious universities. Millions of students interested in pursuing inexpensive post-secondary education can take classes on anything from nutritional health to machine learning—right from the comfort of their own home.
It’s not just about learning new skills. "Graduates" of these classes can receive paid course certificates or accreditation, which is always great to showcase on LinkedIn. Some organizations, like Udacity, have even partnered with universities to create entirely MOOC-based degrees.
I registered for a five-week course on Coursera, Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Comparing Theory And Practice. I’m interested in global politics and how the definition and scope of terrorism has changed since September 11, 2001, and since the topic was equally intriguing and different from the tech community I’m knee-deep in, I figured this class would provide a good introduction to massive open online courses.
The course was available under Coursera’s “Signature Track” program, so I paid $49 to receive a certificate of completion when I passed the class. It was a waste of $49.
I failed my first MOOC.
It wasn’t for lack of trying. When I first signed up, I took it very seriously.
Via Dr. Gordon Dahlby, Dennis T OConnor