Massive Open Online Courses

Topics: University, Education, Virtual learning environment Pages: 7 (2127 words) Published: April 23, 2013

Prepared for

Mr. William Harrell
Technical Writing
English 009

Prepared by

April 5, 2012

Table of Contents

Letter of Transmittal

How it Works
MOOCs on the Rise
MOOC at Howard

Traditional University
The Tradition
The Change

The Classroom and MOOCs
The MOOC Classroom
The Traditional Classroom

The Unknown
Dropout Rates
Money and MOOCs



Sidney Ribeau
Howard University
2400 Sixth Street NW
Washington, DC 20059

The massive open online course is the new modern day classroom for high education learning. Also known as MOOCs these courses are taking education into the twenty-first century. Technology is all around us, in the car and in the home. Why not bring it into the classroom as well? The massive open online course gives researchers the chance “[it gives us the chance] to study the present and future of online learning” (as cited in Dettro, 2013). Higher education is transforming all around us, the MOOC is a door that is leading the revolution.

How it Works
According to Chris Dettro, The massive open online course is a “free, eight-week course [which] is open to anyone worldwide who wants to join” (as cited in Dettro, 2013). One can simply grab his or her laptop, a pen and notebook and the environment is automatically transformed into a classroom. The medium of the course is an online lecture, where a professor has designed a special lecture, just for you. “8 to 12 minutes is typical [for a lecture]” and “videos pause twice for a quiz to make sure you understand the material” (as cited in Pappano, 2012). Most of the work associated with the course is electronic, occasionally, “there may be homework and a final exam” with some massive open online courses (Pappano, 2012). For more advanced massive open online course systems there may also be a proctored exam where one may receive credit or certification, upon passing the test, for the course they have taken.

MOOC on the Rise
The idea of the massive open online course stems from the work of Sebastian Thrun, a professor at Stanford University. His first massive open online course was a free version of the course “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” that he put online. 160,000 students signed up for his course and soon there after he left his teaching position at Stanford. Shortly after Thrun “launched the private Web site Udacity, which offers online course [such as MOOCs]” (as cited in Graham, 2012). Another massive open online course company is “EdX, a joint venture between Harvard and MIT [the Massachusetts Institute of Technology] and Coursera, a Stanford spin off that has attracted top universities like Princeton, Columbia, Duke and the University of Pennsylvania” (as cited in YOUTUBE video).

MOOC at Howard
Soon massive open online courses will be available all around the world including universities in the United States that is if they are in compliance to the program. One must fully weight the pros and cons of the program to know if massive open online courses are the right choice for their university. Howard University will not gain positively in the addition to massive open online courses in our education advancement. Not only does the MOOC shine a negative light in the aspect of campus life for the college student, but also it is detrimental to the learning process of the individual. Massive open online courses are an underdeveloped topic and the uncertainty is not a positive aspect for Howard University’s campus.

Traditional University
The Tradition
High school graduation is an important time in a scholars’ life. The excitement of preparing to leave off for college, usually in a new city, to make new friends without the supervision of your parents is a thrill in itself. All summer one counts down the day they move into their freshman dorm of their college or university. David Stavens, a...

References: How it Works
According to Chris Dettro, The massive open online course is a “free, eight-week course [which] is open to anyone worldwide who wants to join” (as cited in Dettro, 2013)
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