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Student interview: Adding value through MOOC

Created on Fri, 14/03/2014 - 14:15 by Ankit Khandelwal 

In May of last year, Ankit Khandelwal read a post in the ‘MOOC Addicts’ Facebook group, recommending a visit to Open2Study.

Ankit Khandelwal graduates. Image courtesy Ankit Khandelwal.

He had already taken a few courses from other MOOCs and was already, ‘…in love with this new form of education.’ Within a few minutes, he found Principles of Project Management and started his Open2Study journey.

For Ankit, one of the biggest appeals of online study is social learning. ‘Social atmosphere in the classroom, with participants from many different nations, makes it a truly engaging experience,’ he says. ‘Participants from different backgrounds and countries gives possibility to diversify the subject knowledge, without even going anywhere.’

People all over the world

Ankit also says that a MOOC’s ability to cater to students of different skill levels is one of its greatest strengths. ‘Some understand concepts very quickly, and for others it takes a long time,’ he says. ‘Traditional classroom study presents a lot of challenges for the slower learners, but in online education, one can pause and see the lectures again.

‘After looking at my experience, a few of my friends have started to use free online courses. For some, it is an opportunity to try new things and, for others, it is a way to develop new skills.’

For Ankit, the future in online education looks bright. ‘In my view, free online education is still in the early stages of development. More people will understand its importance with the passage of time.’

Ankit’s Top Tips for Online Learners

Participating in the classroom forums and social media discussions

Dedication and patience

A course offered online does not mean an easy ride. Remember, you are alone in watching lectures, taking notes, finishing extra readings or submitting assignments. It is important for you to keep in mind that an online course may need more time than the regular ones. Maintaining interest in an online course, spreading over a couple of weeks, can also present a challenge to you.

Either start with a course in a familiar area, or an area that most interests you. The first course will develop your style of thinking towards online education.

Be experimental

Learning should be joyful. In a virtual classroom, with so many nationalities present, the instructor might not be able to participate as they would in a traditional classroom.

Participate in the discussion forum

Discussion forums are helpful in interacting with other classmates and developing diversified opinions for the same concept. Even if you have nothing to ask related to the subject, simple say, ‘Hi!’ Share more information about the subject and check information provided by others.

Make your learning more practical

Find examples in your day-to-day life to fit theoretical concepts and draw your own conclusions. Even if it sounds like a stupid idea, just do it. If you are going to take a course in photography, and own a camera, then start clicking in your local area. When I was taking Principles of Project Management I was able to observe construction activity near my house as a base project to put theoretical project management framework into a real perspective. This was not an accurate work, but definitely increased my confidence to use project management in other real-life situations.

And what is Ankit planning to study next? ‘I’m in the final phase of my self-designed international management study program, and after that, I’m thinking to study neurology.’

 

Comments

Hi Ankit, You are right about participation in the forums. They take the place of discussion in the classroom and are a valuable asset for you. I hope everyone uses them.

Hi Ankit, You are right about participating in the forums. They take the place of discussion in the traditional classroom and as such are a valuable asset to the learning experience. I hope everyone uses them

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