Sunday, October 20, 2013 The Beginning of Massive Open Online Courses

I have never been very good at learning the boring, traditional way.

I started high school in the Philippines, I couldn't keep up with the mindless drudgery of memorizing facts, figures, people and concepts. I was used to a hand son approach, where instead of memorizing all the wives of King Henry VIII, we'd color them in or do some other creative art project and the facts and figures sink in that way. Thankfully, I had some pretty great teachers who let me express my creativity in other ways in the form of book reports and projects and the like.

When college came around, I was stuck in a classroom, taking down notes on different theories and concepts and postulating how they would pan out in a utopian society, thinking that this would somehow be important to my future. College became physically painful to get through, and I hated every minute of it. So no, learning in a traditional setting is definitely not for me.

But with the rise of the digital age, comes Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) - where professors and other great minds culminate over the internet, sharing their knowledge to students from all over the world at iversity. The best past about all of this? It's free!

I had seen a post about iversity on someone's Facebook page, and decided to check it out. There are a vast range of topics, everything from an introduction to political philosophy to studying the stars. The university itself is based in Berlin, and because of that, half of the starting courses for this year are in German. In due time, once the MOOC platform has taken off, I'm hoping to see more subjects in English, and maybe a few foreign language courses, too.

Once you click on a course you're looking to enroll in, you're led to a page that gives you a brief introduction on what the course is about. Watch the short video and see if it would be something you'd be genuinely interested in.

The page also goes into details of what to expect in terms of assignments and projects, who would be the ideal candidate for the course, how much time you would need to give if you are to learn anything, and a short bio of who would be teaching.

The courses all start at different dates, and the courses you'd be enrolled in will all show up in your dashboard, and you also get an e-mail before the course starts with a nice welcome from the professor, as well as an e-mail once the course goes live - so there really is no excuse for you to miss anything! And after every course you take you are rewarded with a certificate of completion.

The courses that are currently available in English are:

So when you mucking around Manila, wanting to expand your horizons, check out the available courses at iversity and join the 50,000 students that are online, learning with you. Will massive online open courses be the education of the future? I hope so!

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