It doesn’t matter which college you go to or what field your career is in; e-learning platforms can augment your skill set. Five experts on why massive online open courses are the way forward
There is a notable demand for educational programmes from learners around the world who are not being served by existing systems. In the traditional academic model, students are pushed ahead at a fixed pace. So, in a middleschool pre-algebra class, the teacher might go over exponents. After some homework and perhaps another lecture, there would be a test. Some would score 70 per cent, others might get 80-90 per cent. The problem is that even though the test has identified learning gaps, the class will move on to the next concept. Those gaps keep accumulating.
In India, there is a massive need and a whole industry for extra-school tuition. Some might call it ‘supplemental’, but in terms of resources invested, it is almost equivalent to school. In that sense, online platforms allow students to learn at their own pace and to get immediate feedback on their progress.
Massive Open Online Courses
(MOOCs) are essentially traditional courses that one might take at university—they have been transplanted online and are always available. One might learn a concept in statistics at the age of 16 or 17, but when one needs to apply it, at the age of 25 or 30, the resources needed to refresh one’s memory might not be there. MOOCs make them available.
Due to MOOCs, anyone can learn anything—from core academic subjects like pre-K reading and writing to school-level mathematics, social studies and science, all the way to college-level material. A really interesting development that will take place over the next five to 10 years is how one can take such learning and convert it into proof that they can then take to the job market or to institutes of higher education.
SAL KHAN, Founder, Khan Academy