These days I’m attending the University of Rice and the University of Michigan. Without ever leaving my chair. Let me tell you about Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs).
I got into MOOC because of a thrilling article about the University of Amsterdam being the first Dutch university to join in the MOOC game. Being unemployed at the time and always eager for new knowledge, I signed up for Introduction to Communication Science.
Six months later (unemployed again), I decided to dip my toes in the ocean of MOOCs: Coursera (there’s a meta website which gathers ALL MOOC around the world if you’re afraid to miss out though: MOOC List). Coursera’s offering is diverse and comes from universities around the world. Some courses are for everyone, some are for experts. Some have (weekly) quizzes, projects and assignments, while others only finish with an exam. Besides a fancy certificate, some courses have a fancy road to an even fancier (and not for free) certificate that will be recognized internationally. There are forums where you can talk with your co-students and professors, but you don’t have to. Depending on how much time you have (or how motivated you are), you can go all out in recommend readings, extra assignments and lectures. Or just polish the lectures off in two hours and call it a day.
Basically, you can customize your university experience any which way.
I enjoy MOOC because it’s very easy access to all kinds of information. You can look for something relevant to your branch of work, something you always wanted to know more about or just something like Change The World. The only thing you need is an internet connection and some free time.
So tickle your grey matter, look around. Who knows, you might make that dream of studying at Yale University true after all.