MOOC’s have become nearly an overnight phenomenon, from educational rock-stars like Salman Khan, to infinitely less impressive fee based courses brandishing suspiciously self-capitulating titles such as Learn How to Make Money Teaching Online as a Professor. However, in the midst of the money changers and philanthropists lies the mecca of all MOOCs–the MIT and Harvard co-founded edX.org.
With offerings from the worlds academic A-list, an exciting array of disciplines to choose from and certificates of achievement bearing the name of your alma mater, the edX community of MOOCs puts all others to shame–all for the low, low price of absolutely nothing. And now, through edX.org, learners of English can take a college level introductory writing course from U.C. Berkeley ESL instructor Dr. Maggie Sokolik.
I am currently auditing the course to get an insight into the process of such a MOOC, and to see what I can learn from Dr. Sokolik’s teaching methods. One thing I have noticed so far, just looking at the learning community surrounding Dr. Sokolik’s course, is the use of the on-line discussion forum by English language learners from all over the globe. It is wonderful to see students from Kyrgyzstan to Amsterdam banding together as a community of on-line language learners. Could this be the future of education?
Dr. Sokolik’s course is 5 weeks long. Interested students can register with edX and try for a certificate bearing the Berkeley X insignia. If the certificate does not interest your students the course can simply be audited. EdX courses recycle and improve, so if you missed your window you can try again the next time the course recirculates.