Best MOOCs in Australia
- Dec 18, 2014
How many of you dream of pursuing higher education in prestigious colleges or universities across the world? I am sure most of you do! But, quite often, such dreams aren’t realized due to the exorbitant fees charged by these institutions. After all, you might not be lucky enough to grab scholarships. Or, travel outside your nation for studying in foreign universities.
Friends, I am here to share some really exciting news with you guys. Now you study at your favorite universities from the comfort of your homes. It’s not a joke friends. Technology has discovered a new means to facilitate learning! All you require is a stable Internet connection and a PC camera at home. And, you’re ready to get started with ‘MOOCs’, offered by some of the most renowned educational institutes of the planet.
What is a MOOC?
Do you know what a MOOC is? Let me explain. Also known as ‘Massive Open Online Course’, MOOC is a free online course offering extensive engagement and access with the aide of the Internet. The teaching style is similar to that of online courses. Such online courses provide interactive platforms to professors, students and TAs (teaching assistants), besides offering readings, group chats, video lectures, practise tests and readings. However, students cannot enjoy as much interaction with professors in MOOCs, as compared to traditional online courses. MOOCs started evolving since the year 2012.
Platforms used by MOOCs
But how exactly are courses developed through MOOCs? Massive Open Online Courses employ several platforms like Versal, Udacity, Moodle, Coursera, Futurelearn, Open2Study, Udemy, CourseSites by Blackboard and edX. A large number of reputed universities currently offer courses on such important MOOC platforms.
Australian Universities offering MOOCs
Australia is emerging as one of the greatest MOOC hub, thanks to several local universities offering these online courses! The very first Australian university to launch MOOC was The University of New South Wales, on 15th October, 2012. The course was named ‘UNSW Computing 1’ and was developed on a platform termed as ‘OpenLearning’. This unique platform contains features for automated marking, gamification, collaboration and group work. Currently, MOOCs in Australia are known to educate approximately 25,000 students, through their free online courses in various fields. Let us look at the top Australian universities, apart from The University of New South Wales, which boast of new MOOC programs:
- Australian National University
- University of Melbourne
- Monash University
- University of Queensland
- Open Universities Australia (OUA)
- University of Tasmania
MOOC of Australian National University (ANU): ANU introduced MOOC in 2013, supported by the well-known online platform of edX. This special MOOC platform had been founded by globally acknowledged universities including Harvard, Georgetown, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California Berkeley and The University of Texas System. Brian Paul Schmidt, the famous Nobel laureate and ANU professor, conducts Astrophysics classes in ANU MOOC, along with Dr. Paul Francis. Also, a course on ‘Engaging India’ is being taught by Peter Friedlander and Dr. McComas Taylor here.
MOOC of University of Melbourne: This Australian university was the first of its kind which partnered with Coursera technology to offer unlimited access to high-quality education. Like ANU, this MOOC was also established in 2013. Its platform Coursera is quite popular. For, numerable noted universities are a part of this platform now. University of Virginia, Stanford, Caltech, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Ohio State, Brown University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology are a few of them. Melbourne MOOCs are offered for about five to eight weeks each. They involve group evaluation, interactive content, video lectures, etc.
MOOC of Monash University: Monash University started its MOOCs in 2014, using the FutureLearn platform. Over 11,000 students have registered for one of its courses, known as ‘Creative Coding’, which was offered in June for about six weeks. This course basically taught students how to implement computer programming for creative designing. The second course provided was ‘The Science of Medicines’ which focused on treating different ailments like diabetes, heart disorders, depression and pains. The globally celebrated electronic media artists, Jon McCormack and Dr. Mark Guglielmetti taught the Creative Coding course.
MOOC of University of Queensland: The first MOOC of University of Queensland started in March 2014 and utilizes the edX platform. An overwhelming 70,000 students (approx.) have joined this program, belonging to different portions of the world. ‘Think101x: The Science of Everyday Thinking’ is one of the major courses provided here. The course helps students gain an insight into the human thought process, exploring how a man changes his opinions and so on. Anybody can join this MOOC – no educational qualifications are required to be a part of this course.
MOOC of Open Universities of Australia: Over 53,000 students from over 180 nations had registered for this MOOC in 2014. India, United Kingdom, Canada, United States and Spain were amongst the countries which had the highest number of applicants for OUA MOOC. Some of the most popular courses of this online program were ‘Strategic Management’, ‘Food, nutrition and your health’, ‘Writing for the web’, ‘User Experience for the web’ and many more. Open2Study was the MOOC platform used by thus educational institution.
MOOC of University of Tasmania: The world’s first ‘Dementia MOOC’ was established by the Wicking Centre, University of Tasmania in July 2013. This particular MOOC soon took the world by storm, with the highest completion rates (39%) in the entire world! It also won the hearts of several students due to the length of the course, which was named ‘Understanding Dementia’. The duration of the course is 9 weeks and the next course on Dementia will be provided in 2015.
The best thing about Australian MOOCs is that they are completely free of charge! Therefore, you incur zero expenses while you learn, unlike the traditional online degree or diplomas which cost you a tidy pocket. In addition, these MOOCs are enriched with notable faculty, who are experienced professionals in their respective fields. So, you can be assured of receiving the best exposure to practical knowledge in the courses you enroll.
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