Interaction between Professors and Students in MOOCs

17. July 2014 by iversity

01 Sagar Aryal_largeby Sagar Aryal

Learning online has always been the best part of my studies. Whenever I try to learn new things, the first source I look into is internet sites with some popular university notes and blogs. As per my view, learning online from these sources may help broaden the topic of interest, whereas in a book, we may only find limited resources. Since I am from science cum microbiology field, mostly I spend my time watching animations and videos on the internet instead of reading books and class notes.

During my exam time, I regularly followed the lectures of Dr. Mobeen Syed, who used to upload the videos about immunology and other medical studies onto YouTube. This way of studying online helped me boost my knowledge about immunology.

Girl Watching Education Tutorials


We can find many courses from different fields with MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), but the main drawback of MOOCs is that we don’t have any professors or teachers in front of us to help us out instantly with any of our doubts and confusion. We are supposed to just watch the lecture and on the basis of those videos, we have to understand the whole theme of the course. But why worry? There are many ways to interact with professors in order to clear up our doubts. Here are some of the ways to contact professors:

1. Email Address

This is the most common way to connect them. We can find the email address and other details about the professor in the instructor tab of that particular course. In this way, we can clear and quench our confusion, doubts, and curiosities with a forwarded email to them. But you may get a late reply from our professor because they usually have tight schedule.

2. Skype

This might be the best way to contact them, as we can interact with them live like we are in a classroom. But the professor’s Skype ID is not publicly placed in the blogs of the university or MOOC websites. For that, we need to contact them personally via email.

3. Social Media

This the latest technology that has made it easier for us to contact our professors. The best way to contact them is via Facebook, but many reputed professors might not be available on Facebook, as it is not the most professional form of social media. The best professional media channel is LinkedIn, where we can find almost all the professors and we can discuss with them via their groups or personal messages.

4. Forums/Blogs

This is the place where we can publish our questions and discussions. We can get replies from other students as well as professors. In forums, we might find that our questions have already been posted, since the same question come up for other students as well. This helps us interact with other participants and get more actively involved in the course.

Sharing her experience, my friend Kranti Thapa said, “Online education does not demand physical presence to obtain a degree from American and other reputed universities, i.e. one can study at home. It is flexible time-wise, cost-wise, course-wise and relevant to the present study context. Access to mass opinion and cross border interactions among teachers and students can be bettered through live conferences on Skype and other online channels.”

Connecting professors in the course “DNA-From Structure to Therapy”

While taking the course “DNA-From Structure to Therapy”, we mostly used social media to contact our professors because all of them were available on Facebook. There was a Facebook group and pages where we could have discussions with them. I added them on Facebook so that I could message them personally and clear up my doubts about the course. There was discussion forum, too, where we could post our questions and students and professors could give answers.

At last, I really want to thank iversity for giving me this opportunity to write some blogs related to online studying. This is my 6th and last blog that I wrote during my last 8 months of the Ambassador campaign, which has literally improved my writing, too. I would be happy to write further blog posts for iversity in the future.