What is a Massive Open Online Course and how can I benefit from this type of course work?

A Massive Open Online Coursealso called MOOC for shortis a type of online learning course designed for learners of different ages and skill sets. A typical user could be anyone from high schoolers wanting to prep for college, or post-grads wanting to set their resume apart from other individuals in their career field. Signing up and completing a MOOC could help you sharpen your skills or branch out and learn a completely new subject or skill. Millions of students utilize MOOCs annually, with the popular MOOC site Coursera seeing over 5 million students log on in 2013 alone.

This form of virtual learning became popular in 2012, and today there are a variety of sites offering these types of courses. Most MOOCs require four to six weeks of study, making them a great choice for students who want to learn quickly. Some websites may offer MOOCs for free, while universities may require fees similar to traditional tuition. Leading universities across the country offering MOOCs include Stanford University, John Hopkins University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Subjects range anywhere from computer science, the humanities, art and design, and engineering.

Besides gaining specialized knowledge or credits toward a degree, MOOC participants may also receive a variety of certifications based on the courses they complete, especially if it is a one-off course. These can include open badges, statement of accomplishment, or a verified certificate. A statement of accomplishment is free, while users must pay for the verified certificate once the course is complete. All of these rewards for completing courses can be included on a person’s resume or LinkedIn profile, showing they have extra experience in a field of study outside of their degree.  

Here is a list of MOOCs available at our highest ranked online schools… Most Popular MOOCs by Category for 2015