How to Learn Using MOOCs

Massive open online courses - better known as MOOCs - are a terrific way to add something special to a college application, acquire a new job skill, or learn more about a topic that interests you. MOOCs are college courses and material accessible online for free. Do yourself a favor and check them out!


  1. 1
    Investigate your options. Start by visiting the "Big Three" MOOC providers and browse through course offerings:
    • Coursera, a for-profit venture founded by Stanford professors, is the most popular MOOC provider and hosts the most courses.
    • EdX is a non-profit collaboration founded by Harvard and MIT.
    • Udacity is a for-profit company started by the creator of the original MOOC, Stanford professor Sebastian Thrun.
    • Look into other options, too, including online courses held by established campus universities, and newer purely online providers, too.
  2. 2
    Choose which MOOCs you want to study.
    • Look at the expected weekly workload of each course and see if that fits your schedule.
    • Most courses on EdX and Coursera are only offered during a specified stretch of time. If the one you want isn't offered at the moment, mark on your calendar when it will be!
    • Feel free to enroll in a course to "check it out" before committing more time to it.
  3. 3
    Complete the MOOCs. Set up a weekly routine to set aside time for your courses and use smart tools to reach that goal.
    • Cousera and Udacity both offer mobile apps for iOS and Android to study courses on-the-go. GroupMooc is an iOS app that works across all three platforms for study planning.
    • Mark on your calendar when you expect to be finished with the course.
    • Always keep in mind, and maybe write down, your motivations for taking the course.
  4. 4
    Consider whether to pay for a "verified course" certificate:
    • Often including extra steps to prove your identity and work, the MOOC provider will offer a special certificate upon course completion among other benefits.
    • Might help ensure your motivation to finish a course, or demonstrate to employers/schools your skills.
    • Keep in mind you do not have to purchase anything to complete a MOOC!
  5. 5
    Show off your accomplishments.
    • Use an online site or your own system to organize your certificates, course assignments/notes, and meet other MOOC users.
    • Link your certificates to your LinkedIn profile for potential employers to see.
    • Print off certificates and hang on your wall/office!


  • Consider focusing in on a skill or topic - like, learning how to use the programming language Python or learning about a foreign culture - to narrow down your course search.
  • If you need to simply brush up on a skill or simply need homework help, consider visiting Khan Academy.

Article Info

Categories: Distance Learning