A Year in MOOC


About a year ago I joined my first MOOC [Massive Open Online Course]. There were a lot courses after that; I’ve completed 5 courses and dropped about 20, and I’ve come to my personal understanding what MOOC are and what they should be.

I believe many MOOC courses now are more about the positive learners’ feedback than about the teaching quality. Many courses are watered versions of the offline university courses (or maybe these universities have such watered courses), easy to pass. I dropped most of these courses because they were boring.

Fortunately not all MOOC courses are like that. So far I discovered 2 real MOOC gems: the first was BerkeleyX CS-191x: Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Computation provided by Berkeley University and the second was MITx 6.041x: Introduction to Probability – The Science of Uncertainty provided by MIT.

Both courses were about the fundamentals, the things many talk about but little understand, and the professors were really interested in the learners mastering the course, not in the positive learners’ feedback. Both courses required a lot of time and effort to master, but the rewards of mastering them are incomparable to the watered courses.

Both these courses set a high educational standard, still both are undergraduate courses. I hope we are at the beginning of the educational evolution, and after some time all courses of the best professors from the best universities will be available online.