MOOC Reaches Out to High School Students

MOOC Reaches Out to High School Students
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    Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) models have been getting a lot of attention in recent years.

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Free courses help students prepare for college.

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) models have been getting a lot of attention in recent years. Numerous providers are now offering free or low-cost courses to college students the world over and include: Udacity, Coursera, and edX, to name a few. Most MOOC (pronounced mook) models align themselves with leading universities including Stanford, Harvard, Oxford and MIT.

The edX MOOC Model

Harvard and MIT launched edX in 2012 and claim more than 2.5 million users. The edX platform now involves more than 50 schools, organizations and businesses with 240 courses available online. Besides college students, edX is now reaching out to high school students and has introduced 27 courses, including Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

Thanks to several grants from supporters, edX now provides free high school courses in a variety of subjects. A Verified Certificate of Achievement option is available with some courses and a fee is charged when this preference is selected.

Preparing High School Students for College

Branching out to high school students comes as educators evaluate college readiness amongst today’s student population. Indeed, despite being accepted into college, approximately 60 percent of first-year college students are not ready for the rigors of higher education according to a June 2010 report from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. Those students often must take remedial courses before proceeding with their regular curriculum, slowing down their academic progress and costing them more money.

edX claims the courses it offers will help high school students prepare for college. High school teachers can also benefit by reinforcing their curriculum with edX instruction materials.

The subject areas covered include: English, history, mathematics and science, with one class for college advising, the latter providing students with guidance as they write their college entrance applications. A lot of students need hand holding when filling out an application with parents sometimes paying for special assistance.

Participating Universities

Among the universities tapped for edX’s high school initiative are: Rice, MIT, UC Berkeley, Davidson and Georgetown. Seed money, amounting to $50,000 per course and support service was provided. In all, edX received 75 proposals from 22 institutions, before choosing 26 courses from 14 institutions.

Students should know that MOOC courses, although free, do not offer any credit. However, such courses can help them advance their academic success and help equip them for life beyond academia. That’s a bargain at any course, but usually free with a MOOC.

See AlsoAbout Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

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