To add a unique activity to your college application and resume, enroll in a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) in subjects ranging from essay writing to nanotechnology, Gazettes reports.

A MOOC is simply an online course with the capability to serve a large number of students (for example Stanford’s initial MOOC in 2011, “Introduction To AI,” enrolled 160,000 students) with open access via the web. Supplementary learning materials may include videos, lectures, e-books or problem sets.

The first MOOC debuted in 2008 when Canadian professors from the University of Manitoba launched a MOOC with 25 students and 2,200 general public participants. Four years later, The New York Times named 2012 “The Year of the MOOC,” while Time magazine asserted MOOCs were now opening the “Ivy League to the Masses.”

There are a number of MOOC providers, with one of the best known being Khan Academy.

… Keep in mind, however, that MOOCs, though stable and reliable, are still being perfected. Some MOOCs integrate an entire learning community using discussion threads (called cMOOCs), while others are more like traditional university lectures (xMOOCs). MOOC assessments run the gamut: multiple choice quizzes, peer-reviewed written assignments and machine-scored written assignments.

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eCampus News staff and wire reports


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