My favourite online platforms for learning are Masterclass (paid), Udemy (free and paid) and YouTube (free and unstructured). Long live the MOOCs …
The pandemic was great for some things. We redefined what it meant to be remote, we learnt how to trust staff more, and we moved a lot faster to digitisation.
Education was not different. During the first week of April 2020, close to two million hours were watched on LinkedIn learning. Coursera was 640% up year on year in class enrolments.
An MOOC is a ‘massive open online course’: a fancy word for a subset of the online learning world. There are several problems with the traditional system of education that are alleviated by these MOOCs. The benefits of these learning mechanics are summarised below.
Online learning is flexible and accessible
In a world awash with content and distractions, online learning allows students to set their own pace. It will enable a student to create a schedule of their choosing to maximise their knowledge. Students can enter these virtualised classrooms anywhere in the world. There is no reason to change your life to expand your mind.
Online learning offers a broader selection of deep understanding
These MOOCs offer space where the vastness of the Internet and its knowledge is refined into byte-sized topics to be consumed in a focused way. A growing number of universities and higher education schools offer online versions of their programmes for various levels and disciplines.
These minor courses can be within a field, say accounting, but go deep into one vertical specifics. Think a dedicated study of IAS 18 only; or think about a point of view when you want to grow as a leader, but you understand candour is a weakness and you sign up for a Radical Candor course. This puts the power of development in your own hands. The learning approach is customisable to an individual’s needs.
So, while the content is wide and varied, you can become an expert in a very niche field.
Online learning is cost effective
Education institutions have overhead costs. Electricity, water, fibre and salaries are amortised over a limited number of participants. This business model is designed to be expensive. Online learning is often free or costs lower, because the costs are little and amortised over a much larger proportion of users.
These lower costs allow a broader range of learners to have access to education. These costs also enable employers to subsidise and assist employers’ growth in attaining increased efficiencies in decreasing the potential ‘skills gap’.
In other words, the monetary investment is lower, but the results can be better than that of other options.
Big technology companies, often seen as being on the cutting edge of employee benefits, have stopped requiring degrees in order to be hired. With easy-access top-quality lecturers online, what difference does a four-letter degree make as long as you are obtaining the skillset?
The pandemic has changed us. It accelerated the notion that education − and specifically higher edition − should be democratised. Anyone in the world can have access to the greatest minds for free or cheaply.