Many post-secondary hopefuls scrimp and save to afford an education. But there is a cheap alternative. Thousands of people worldwide are now are taking advantage of massive open online courses (MOOC).
The courses are broadcast online – lectures and all – for free through elite schools that include Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
So far, the MOOC idea has been met with a lukewarm response in Greater Victoria.
“Initially MOOCs started out as collaborative online discussion groups, but more recently it’s like Silicon Valley has just discovered it,” said Steve Grundy, vice-president academic at Royal Roads University.
Not including MOOCs, Grundy said the Internet is full of lectures and demonstrations that can be valuable to a post-secondary education.
“A lot of classroom content is in video form, but it’s not particularly exciting,” Grundy said. “I liken it to printing a book, you don’t get the interaction with a professor for the price of a text book.”