Best MOOC Providers and Their Pros and Cons

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In the last two articles we talked about MOOC platform and we created introduction to e-Learning system. Now it’s time to make short overview of the best MOOC providers, and to highlight their pros and cons.

There is huge number of MOOC providers other there, because there is hyper- creation of them in recent years. It’s all positive, you have better choices, and competition is always nice thing, because only best will stay on top.

We’re going to split MOOC providers into two categories (MOOC providers with free certificate) and (MOOC with paid certificate)

MOOC providers with free certificate;

(Coursera, edX, Open2Study, NovoED, Stanford Online, Khan Academy)

MOOC with paid certificate;

(Udacity, Coursera, Future Learn, Alison, edX)

Coursera

Is the „oldest“ and most popular MOOC provider. On Coursera you have scheduled and self- paced online courses. Over 1000+ online courses, with over 80 partnered universities, Coursera is taking the biggest market share of any other MOOC provider.

Coursera is commercial platform created by Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller from Stanford University.

Pros:

+ Most reputable MOOC provider

+ Provider with biggest database of courses and biggest variety of courses

+ Really qualitative content, by prestige universities

+ Interaction within students, and biggest online community

+ Courses on multiple languages

Cons:

  • Peer assessment grading is unreliable and (su)bjective
  • Forcing paid certification

– Other MOOC providers are getting stronger and can jeopardize Coursera leading position

edX

Well edX is the second biggest market share holder, just after Coursera. edX is a non-commercial ( non- profit) online initiative created by Hardware and MIT university. edX as a MOOC provider is oriented towards science and technology. If you want to learn how to program , you are on right spot.

edX currently offers over 400 courses online, and their database is expanding on every day basis.

Pros:

+ Solid database of courses

+ Quality content, provided by prestige institutions and universities

+ Platform oriented on science and technology

Cons:

– Most of courses are provided on English

– Not developed online community

– Provider is orientated mostly on providing courses and content for science and technology

(At the same time this is a pro and con, because if you want to get specialization in science and technology it’s great. But for other people, which are interested in social sciences there is lack of choices for online courses)

Open2Study

is initiative created by Open Universities Australia. OUA ( Open Universities Australia) is leader in online education on Australian market. Open2Study is different from the other MOOC providers, because Open2Study is oriented towards your career.

They’re providing courses, which can help you to boost your career, get specialization and expand your knowledge in that field.

Pros:

+ Great user interface

+ 4 week long course period

+ Career oriented

+ Focus on quizzes, and repetitive knowledge

Cons:

– Courses provided only in English

– Courses are oriented for Australian community

– Lack of online community

– Small database of online courses ( under 50)

Alison

Is Ireland based MOOC provider. Alison as edX and Coursera is one of the world largest free online learning sites. They’re providing with over 650+ free courses. What I find most interesting when talking about Alison is the combination of powerpoint presentation, blended with voice over and some great quality video lectures too. Alison is commercial based platform. You will have to pay to get your certificate.

Pros:

+ Solid database of courses

+ Variety of courses

+ Multiple language courses

+ Group learning option

+ Quick online courses (for people who want to show off)

Cons:

– Site is pretty laggy from time to time

– User interface needs to be improved

– Course material can be find on Google

– Seems that it’s all been created just to get money from users

– Some of courses you can finish under 20 minutes, and gain certificate

Khan Academy

Is founded by Salman Khan. It’s one of the best, maybe the best free online learning site. It is user friendly, interactive, and there is ton of video and written materials. Khan academy is non- profit platform supported by enthusiast and huge number of volunteers from around the world.

Pros:

+ Huge database of online courses

+ Course are presented in multiple languages

+ User friendly interfaces with interactive content

+ Video lectures of top quality

+ Tools for parents and kids

Cons:

– Not providing certificate

We provided overview of some most famous and usable online learning platforms.

It’s up to you now! Free online learning haven’t been simpler and easier than now. You just have to put little energy and motivation into it.

Next article is going to be a mystery. I can reveal only, it’s going to be in a form of interview. Guest will remain secret. Stay tuned!

Till the next time, may the force of knowledge be with you!

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