This is the second part of a three-part series by Ankit Khandelwal to help you maximise your online learning based on his extensive MOOC experience. In this part he will talk about how to enjoy flexibility offered by MOOCs and by the online education. To learn more about Ankit and read his first article please follow the link here.
Online education offers you lot of flexibility, especially when it comes to assessing your learning. Let’s see if for some course, the weekly quizzes contribution is 20% and final exam is worth 80%. The overall passing grade is 60%. So, if you do not have time at the start of the course, than you can skip initial quizzes. Later, you can rejoin the course, watch video lectures, finish the remaining quizzes and still coming out with the flying colors. I did this with many courses. And if you are very much aware of the concepts, then you can skip the particular week video lectures and directly do the quiz. Online courses are what you make out of them, in a way that is most convenient to you.
Combining study methods
It is not necessary that you should listen to video lectures. Now a days, some MOOC course websites are also providing transcripts alongside videos. You can take this opportunity to just read rather than watching. Build on the concept of shared learning, discussion forums are the great thing of any MOOC to meet your classmates, clarifying doubts, asking for help, making friends around the globe and even discussing some out of box concepts.
Figure 1: Facebook study group of the course EU Law
Figure 2: Facebook study group of the course Understanding Economic Policy Making
Figure 3: LinkedIn study group for the Technicity course
Using social media
But if you are unable to participate due to various reasons then you can also try other methods. You can join Facebook, Skype or even Meetup groups to study/discuss things with others. . You can make use of other opportunities of discussing things if you are not comfortable in discussion forums. You can check Figure 1 and Figure 2 to know the two such groups of online course finished in past. With so many participants coming from different parts of the world, you can join one for your course or create such groups for your own. However, if you are not comfortable joining things on Facebook due to privacy concerns, than participating in discussions on LinkedIn (or Xing) can be a good idea. You can see one such example in Figure 3.