Five ways high school teachers can use MOOCs
MOOCs can be useful for teachers' professional development. Source: Shutterstock

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have exploded in recent years, with many being offered to learners for free on platforms such as Coursera, Udemy and edX, to name a few. 

While some require payment for learners to obtain a certificate of completion, for the most part, MOOCs offer students a convenient and flexible way to learn just about anything – be it to advance their skills and careers or purely for educational benefits – from wherever they are.  

But MOOCs are not just a tool for students; they can prove to be beneficial for teachers, too. Here’s how teachers can use MOOCs to their advantage:

Use MOOCs to supplement students’ learning

Teachers can encourage students to use certain MOOCs to supplement their traditional classroom learning. For example, notes that teachers can assign MOOC lectures as homework to students, leaving them with more time on activities and projects in the classroom. 

Encourage students to use it as an additional resource

So many courses, so little time! Source: Shutterstock

One study also showed that students are more likely to use videos and visiting forums to help with their homework but used online textbooks while taking exams. Hence, MOOCs can serve as a useful resource for students to complement their classroom learning. Teachers can also recommend MOOCs for students to use as reference and improve learning outcomes.

Affordable professional development 

There are studies that suggest MOOCs can benefit teachers’ professional development. Schools are often strapped for cash while a teachers’ salary may make it financially difficult for them to pursue courses for their professional and personal development. 

MOOCs can potentially serve as a useful alternative for teachers to learn for free or very little, and slip it in their busy schedules when time permits. 

Learn from other educators

There’s so much to learn from the teaching styles of others. Source: Shutterstock

Those who have been in the teaching profession for a while can sometimes forget what it’s like to be a student again. Some teachers may continue to teach in autopilot mode, forgetting that there’s always room for improvement despite one’s experiences. 

One of the benefits of learning from MOOCs is the chance to become a student again and learn from the different teaching styles of other educators. This way, teachers can experience for themselves what works and what doesn’t, and thus incorporate the best practices in their classrooms. 

Encourage students to prepare for university notes that “MOOCs are a great way for high school students to get familiar with career paths and what would be required to get a degree in a specific subject. Teachers can recommend specific MOOCs to students who are self-motivated and really want to prepare for college. MOOCs open up a world of possibility to students who are willing to put in the effort to take advantage of them.”

So go on – what have you got to lose?!

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