Which is the best MOOC platform?

  • Alison

    Votes: 5 15.2%
  • Canvas Network

    Votes: 2 6.1%
  • Coursera

    Votes: 21 63.6%
  • edX

    Votes: 14 42.4%
  • FutureLearn

    Votes: 5 15.2%
  • iversity

    Votes: 1 3.0%
  • OpenLearning

    Votes: 1 3.0%
  • Open2Study

    Votes: 5 15.2%
  • Udacity

    Votes: 4 12.1%
  • Udemy

    Votes: 1 3.0%

  • Total voters
    33

Carolyn

Founder at MoocLab
Staff member
Group Manager
Khan Academy are on the hunt for brilliant explainers, captivating storytellers, and those who illuminate the complex, as if by magic.

From May 18-June 21, Khan Academy are seeking video submissions from anyone and everyone with a passion for learning and a knack for making challenging concepts seem simple. If you love helping others understand the world, send them two of your videos!

Learn more about our talent search

Winners will be featured on the Khan Academy website and flown to California to collaborate with and learn from the Khan Academy and YouTube teams.

Khan Academy are looking for videos that demonstrate real passion for the material, cover the concepts deeply and rigorously, and feel conversational—as if your kind, insightful friend is clearly explaining a complicated concept to you at your kitchen table.

If that sounds like you, they'd love to check out two of your videos. If that sounds like someone else you know, share this with them on Facebook, or forward them this link.
 

Carolyn

Founder at MoocLab
Staff member
Group Manager
Introducing new open, shareable steps in FutureLearn courses
simon.pearson-11.jpg

Originally posted by Simon Pearson on FutureLearn Blog
22 MAY 2015
We’ve recently made some of the steps within FutureLearn courses open, so that you don’t need to sign in to the site to see or share them. Here, our Product Manager, Simon Pearson, explains how it works.

As you’re moving through your courses, you might from time to time notice a little set of share icons appear at the bottom of the page like so:

open-steps.png


You can use these to share interesting material from your courses with your friends, peers and loved ones, to:

  • show them something relevant to their interests;
  • show off what you’ve learned;
  • distract them from cat pictures;
  • or all of the above.
Anyone can see what you share
The best part is that the person you’ve shared the material with doesn’t have to have a FutureLearn account or sign in to see it. It’s just like sharing a video from YouTube or an article from Wikipedia – anyone can see what you share.

Here are a few examples of these new open, shareable steps, which have proved popular so far:

Why are we doing this?
We’ve begun opening up large swathes of our courses to be shared far and wide, as our Head of Product, Matt Walton, said we would in his blog post celebrating our first birthday:

“We think that allowing as many people to find, enjoy and share parts of our courses is the best way to spread the word, enabling people to get a taste of what’s on offer and encouraging them to sign up to our courses. This will also allow us to make available thousands of pages of educational resources for people to use and link to. And we’ll be working on ways to enable learners to share their achievements with others.”

We believe passionately in sharing knowledge and learning with others, so we’ll be opening up more and more steps for you to see and share.

For more on our approach to social learning, check out some tips on how to get the most out of FutureLearn from our Social Lead, David Thair.
 

Carolyn

Founder at MoocLab
Staff member
Group Manager

For the first time ever, Khan Academy has teamed up with the creators of the SAT to create personalized SAT practice for anyone, anywhere. In March 2016, the SAT is changing, and you can prepare for it on Khan Academy—for free.


You'll start with a short video about how the new SAT is different. Then you can try out diagnostic quizzes, which will give you personalized recommendations for which SAT skills you should practice.

The system is designed to help you where you need it. Check it out and see what you think.
 

Carolyn

Founder at MoocLab
Staff member
Group Manager
From a report published by CourseTalk - online course directory site featuring 70K student generated reviews. Date of publication: June 2015.

CourseTalk's top rated providers.png


To see MoocLab's independent reviews and ratings of online course providers, click here.

For MoocLab's independent review and rating of the CourseTalk platform, click here.


To see the full report, click here.
 
Last edited:

Zipboard

Active Member
There may also be some issues for students who lack motivation. Since a MOOC is voluntary and there is no penalty for dropping the program or lagging behind, there may be issues with course completion. Although a student may have received an excellent education, there will not be a corresponding diploma.

For those who desire a free education and have the motivation, the following includes the: Top 10 Sites for Information about MOOCs:

  1. Udemy Free Courses – Udemy is an example of a site allows anyone to build or take online courses. Udemy’s site exclaims, “Our goal is to disrupt and democratize education by enabling anyone to learn from the world’s experts.”The New York Times reported that Udemy, “recently announced a new Faculty Project, in which award-winning professors from universities like Dartmouth, the University of Virginia and Northwestern offer free online courses. Its co-founder, Gagen Biyani, said the site has more than 100,000 students enrolled in its courses, including several, outside the Faculty Project, that charge fees.”
  2. ITunesU Free Courses – Apple’s free app “gives students access to all the materials for courses in a single place. Right in the app, they can play video or audio lectures. Read books and view presentations.”
  3. Stanford Free Courses - From Quantum Mechanics to The Future of the Internet, Stanford offers a variety of free courses. Stanford’s – Introduction to Artificial Intelligence was highly successful. According to Pontydysgu.org,“160000 students from 190 countries signed up to Stanford’s Introduction to AI” course, with 23000 reportedly completing.” Check out Stanford’s Engineering Everywhere link.
  4. UC Berkeley Free Courses – From General Biology to Human Emotion, Berkley offers a variety of courses. Check out: Berkeley Webcasts and Berkeley RSS Feeds.
  5. MIT Free Courses – Check out MIT’s RSS MOOC feed. Also see: MIT’s Open Courseware.
  6. Duke Free Courses – Duke offers a variety of courses on ITunesU.
  7. Harvard Free Courses – From Computer Science to Shakespeare, students may now get a free Harvard education. “Take a class for professional development, enrichment, and degree credit. Courses run in the fall, spring, or intensive January session. No application is required.”
  8. UCLA Free Courses – Check out free courses such as their writing program that offers over 220 online writing courses each year.
  9. Yale Free Courses – At Open Yale, the school offers “free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University. The aim of the project is to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn.”
  10. Carnegie Mellon Free Courses – Carnegie Mellon boosts “No instructors, no credits, no charge.”
Share your views opinions at worldwide community for e learning enthusiast.

http://community.zipboard.co/
 

Paul Morris

Active Member
Contrary to some of the earlier comments, I have to say that I am very much afraid that Open2Study is pretty much moribund. I should say upfront that I have been active on O2S for over two years, have completed around 30 courses there and am a 'Student Guide'.

It is over 18 months since the last new course was launched on the platform. The initial target was to have 50 courses online by the end of 2013 and this was achieved (one course has subsequently been withdrawn for reasons that have not been satisfactorily explained) but there have been no further launches despite sporadic forum comments from staff that new courses were imminent.

Software issues have remained unresolved, in some cases for well over a year, and some features were withdrawn 'while they were sorted out' but have not returned 2 years later. There have been no public comments from O2S or its operators, Open Universities Australia (OUA), on the platform's future nor any press releases for a long time.

On the plus side, most of the courses are well presented and cover some unusual subjects. The technical standards of the videos (which are all shot in the O2S studio) are quite high and credit should be given to the artists who frequently accompany the lecturers and draw some lovely sketches in 'real time'. The courses are very 'standardised' which makes it easier for returning students: all courses run over four weeks, have around 10 short videos (4-6 minutes) per week, each video segment is followed by an ungraded single-question 'pop quiz' and each week is assessed by a 10 question quiz which may be taken up to to three times.

The certificates are not unattractive and the second page includes a breakdown of module scores. It would be nice to include a short description of the course here--there is certainly space.

On the downside, there is little sign of ongoing development (although staff responses to queries on the forums do continue). Community growth has stalled; courses still attract around the same numbers as a year ago and are a very small fraction of the size encountered on Coursera or edX (or even Futurelearn). Typical course enrolments are around 1,000-1,500 compared to 30k+ on Coursera. This in part also accounts for the dire state of the discussion forums, courses can go through their whole run without a single posting!

The platform is not particularly strong. Forum software is very weak lacking even a working search function (and different software is used for course and community forums). There is no facility for assessment activities other than the module quizzes nor is there support for other features such as software autograders or peer assessment (although the short length of the courses would make this difficult anyway). There are no transcripts of the lectures.

Finally, and this could be considered either a plus or minus, the courses are all intended very much as introductory 'tasters'. They are largely pitched at those with no previous background and may be found to have limited challenge for those with existing subject knowledge.
 

Paul Morris

Active Member
Alison was actually in operation long before the current MOOC frenzy (starting business in 2007) so can hardly be accused of 'jumping on the bandwagon'. That having been said, it is true that I have reservations both about the content and the platform.

In many ways Alison is a victim of its own initial success. It was something of a ground-breaker when it launched and its free online courses had few competitors. Its courses were built mainly around what were little more slideshows with occasional activities and quizzes. This was 'good enough' for most users at the time and still has advantages for those with limited bandwidth or monthly download caps. As the current MOOCs came into being with their strong focus on video based courses, Alison has come to be seen as rather dated and somewhat out of the mainstream.

Another issue for users is Alison's funding structure. This is largely based on advertising which is pretty intrusive, not to say overwhelming at times, with ads being placed between sections in the slideshows as well as surrounding the material on all sides. There are annual paid options to remove the in-course advertisements or the site-wide advertising but one would need to really hate ads to actually pay (admittedly modest fees) to avoid them.

Alison claims that 'all courses are certified' which is a little disingenuous on two fronts: firstly, certificates are a paid option (years ago it used to be free to download the pdf versions) and secondly, the 'certification' has no external accreditation and does not, in most cases, even come with the cachet of association with a high profile content provider.

Fees for certificates are fairly outrageous, €21 for a pdf download or €27 for a copy on parchment for a single course while certificates for 'Diploma' courses are available only on parchment at an eye-watering €96 (plus an additional €15 postage)!

Alison tend, in my opinion, to exaggerate the significance of some of their courses. I completed the so-called Diploma in Operations Management in a little over 2 hours... Somehow I can't see myself paying €96 for the certificate.

I should note that I have been an occasional student of Alison's since 2007. Some of the courses have good content but they are almost entirely text-based and can have scant content. Quality is variable.
 

Carolyn

Founder at MoocLab
Staff member
Group Manager
They don't offer financial aid as such, but some instructors may offer discounts for their courses. Udemy is a crowdsourced course platform where anyone can run a course so it is down to each course instructor to set their prices and any discounts. I suggest you contact the instructor of the course you're interested in and ask if he or she offer discounts.
 

Nedzad

Active Member
Study Buddy
It's fairly limited. You can watch videos, look at the syllabus I think :) and that is all. You can't work on your assignments, you must log from the net. browser to do that :)

So short summary, it's good to watch videos and to be on a track, what you've accomplished so far.
 

Carolyn

Founder at MoocLab
Staff member
Group Manager
MOOC platforms such as Coursera and Udacity are moving away from offering free statements of accomplishment on completing a course. Instead, MOOC graduates have the option to pay for a verified certificate. The cost is nothing compared to campus courses, but is it right for them to be doing this?
 

Nedzad

Active Member
Study Buddy
Great topic, Carolyn :)

Yes :)

As you know Coursera and Udacity are finance orientated platforms. So I assume paying for a verified certificate is not a such big deal. It's not so bad because 50$ isn't big bucks in USA, and EU. I agree that for the rest of the world it might be a problem, especially for students, but they're making business from this, so it's legit.

I don't like it from user perspective, but I'm satisfied with free statement, we need to keep in mind that there is huge competition out there, in terms of MOOC providers :)
 

Carolyn

Founder at MoocLab
Staff member
Group Manager
MOOC platform Coursera is now setting its focus on tackling the skills gap in the labour market by offering skills training and professional development courses in partnership with major financial and technology companies.
40% of employers in the US report difficulty filling jobs, and Coursera's "Global Skills Initiative" aims to provide courses that teach the skills that employers want.
This is clearly another step from Coursera towards monetising their offering.

Is this the end of "Free Education for the Masses"?
 

Nedzad

Active Member
Study Buddy
I don't think so :), we have other free MOOC providers. But yeah Coursera is the biggest, but as we all know (I've already) wrote about it, they're all about money, so this isn't so much big deal.
You always can do Informal e-Learning on your own; Youtube, TED, TED-ed, MoocLab, Scoop.it and etc... :)
 

Nina

Active Member
Coursera seem to have changed their layout and the way you browse their courses so that it's now really difficult to find anything and you can't see when courses start. I really don't like it.
Does anyone else think the same?
 
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