MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course.
Learning has changed and now major institutions put out courses on the internet for no charge. People everywhere can access it. Now that does not necessarily mean that you will have course credit towards a degree, but for certain classes you just might. What it does mean is that we have the ability to be life long learners. We have the ability to explore a topic of interest to us in a way that never existed before.
Two years ago I signed up for a MOOC from the University of Tasmania in Australia called
Understanding Dementia. Now the selling part for me is the part about it being free. I had a lot of knowledge about Dementia thrown at me when I was getting my Therapeutic Recreation Certification but I felt like there was still a lot that I did not truly understand. It is a very complex and devastating disorder that is becoming increasingly common with our aging population and I wanted to learn more.
I found myself signed up, doing a questionnaire and registered in a nine week course that offered a set of online learning modules. They had videos with the experts, cartoons, videos, interviews and text to read. It was pretty simply presented but yet very thorough. There were student forums where you could discuss topics and you were occasionally expected to post. There were people from all over the world, There were health professionals and there were researchers, family members of people with dementia and there were people diagnosed with dementia who all wanted to learn about their common interest. There were indeed end of module quizzes but if you made mistakes you had a chance to learn from your mistakes and repeat the quiz. They were not something to rank you or for you to worry about
In the end I actually finished and got my course completion certificate from the University of Tasmania. Pretty cool for a lady sitting at her computer in Winnipeg Canada Eh?
If I was interested in doing a degree in Tasmania this course would be credited for the program.. it is indeed a real university course.
They have a second free class about possibly preventing dementia and I think I will do that one too.
The following little video is from a page that gives links. Look here to find lots of amazing places your can find a class to take for free.