MOOCs like we all know have become a basic necessity of every learner. The demand of MOOCs have increased so much that even if a learner doesn’t feel the need to take a MOOC, he still goes for one. Though the demand of MOOCs is high but still amid all of this MOOC mania, the University of Maine at Presque Isle is trying at their best to introduce a different kind of online learning experience that may result in swapping the scale of MOOC. They (Michael Sonntag, the chief) call this new attempt as “Little Open Online Courses”.
The initiative of introducing a small-scale online course is not something that has been worked on for the first time by this institute. In 2007, David Wiley who is a professor of instructional psychology and technology at Brigham Young University, also did an experiment of introducing small groups of students in an online course while he was working at the Utah State University. Thus we can say that there are groups of people out there who are trying to introduce something new that is as competitive, helpful and engaging as the MOOCs.
What does a Little Open Online Courses (LOOCs) has to offer?
Just like a MOOC, Little Open Online Courses (LOOC) is also an online course that is available for learners to take for free. Learners don’t even have to pay a single penny to enroll themselves in it. Ray Rice, the coordinator of the OpenU project claims that Presque Isle is working on providing an anti-MOOC experience to all those non-paying learners/students who are not in a University or a college but want to study a course that is as competitive as the one taught in a University but this one being free of cost course.
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Benefits of taking a LOOC:
Here are some of the highlighted benefits that can be gained by a learner on taking a LOOC.
- Just like a MOOC, LOOC is also free of cost.
- LOOC is also open to anyone interested in enrolling.
- The methodology of the LOOC is online and asynchronous.
- With LOOC, students will get direct feedback from the instructor himself/herself. Students can interact with the instructor in real-time so that they don’t have to wait for their queries being answered.
- With LOOC, students will be able to pay for up to 6 institutional credits via a prior-learning program.
- The agenda of LOOC is to reach to new learners/students.
- Students who enroll in a LOOC will also be allowed to submit essays, participate in different workshops and will be given the same standards and attention as any student who is enrolled in the University.
Our discussion can come to an end with a view in mind that LOOCs may not be as popular and in-demand as MOOCs right now but it is highly likely that its demand will tend to increase in the near future. This is mainly because LOOCs have all the benefits as MOOCs and by each passing day, there will be advancements in this initiative that will lead to its success.