All About MOOCs

When people think of online classes, they usually think of the traditional type: a class where you pay the university to take a class in an online format. Did you know that you can actually take certain online classes for free? You can!

What is a MOOC?

Massive Open Online Courses, also referred to as MOOCs, aim to reach an unlimited amount of people, giving everyone the opportunity to further their education. MOOCs follow the traditional online format, with assignments, quizzes and exams built into the curriculum. However, professors, software or peers, depending on who’s providing the class, can oversee the courses. Both universities and independent websites offer MOOCs.

Some MOOCs are on a set schedule with a start and end date, while others are self-paced and can be taken at the student’s convenience. So, if you have a busy schedule and can’t afford to sign up for traditional online courses, taking a MOOC might be the best way to start the continuation of your education!

The Difference Between MOOCs and Traditional Online Classes

A main difference between these two types of online classes is the end goal. When taking an online class, you’re working towards a degree. When taking a MOOC, you’re learning to enhance your knowledge—even if you don’t necessarily get official recognition for it.

Students receive certificates when they complete a MOOC course, but as of right now, these classes are rarely counted as class credit.

MOOCs at UMass

UMass campuses have been offering MOOCs since 2013 and we believe that everyone deserves a chance to learn—MOOCs are a great way to ensure that. We are currently offering a course titled “Coasts and Communities” which explores how humans and natural-systems interact through environmental science.

We also offer a statistics class to learn more about the fields of engineering, mathematics, finance and more, and in the past we’ve offered courses in molecular science and computer programming.

Does completing a MOOC sound interesting to you? If so, go to these websites and sign up today!

UMass Amherst -

UMass Boston -

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