Free online college courses have been hailed as the wave of the future by many education experts. On the one hand, skeptics said that free online college courses without any credit could not be worth the investment; while, on the other hand, alarmists maintained that nobody would ever go to college anymore were they able to take free online college courses free of charge. Only a select few realized that traditional colleges and MOOCs do not have to compete with online courses. The problem, instead, was the way in which traditional colleges could become completely obsolete by allowing free online college courses to continue to thrive.
Reason Why Traditional Institutions Could Lose Their Edge
The first reason why traditional institutions could lose their edge is the same reason that free online college courses gain in popularity. As more students become interested in getting an education, traditional universities must accommodate more students by offering more slots for online classes. For a very successful university to survive and stay viable, it must be able to offer a wide array of courses to its students. The problem with traditional universities, though, is that most universities only have space for a handful of courses – that’s why students are sometimes forced to attend classes at a campus that’s several hundred miles away from home. This limits students’ options and significantly diminishes their educational experience.
Force Students To Use Books That Aren’t Their Own
Another way that traditional institutions lose their edge is because they force students to use books that aren’t their own. Because it’s the university’s responsibility to supply its students with textbooks, universities force them to purchase overpriced textbooks from bookstores. For those who can’t afford this, or who don’t want to spend a lot of money on textbooks, free online college courses cover the same material through multimedia presentations. This not only saves students money, but it also allows them to learn from the comfort of their own homes. What’s more, these courses are frequently more interesting than their more expensive counterparts because they involve personal enrichment – something that most professors rarely include in their classes. Free courses often cover new ideas, brush up students on skills they’ve already learned, or simply help students develop a more extensive set of skills.
Apply To Traditional Universities
Many of the same benefits of taking free online college courses also apply to traditional universities. In many cases, students learn better when they are allowed to apply the learning that they have already acquired through various other sources. When a course requires that students use the learning that they already have acquired in other settings, the student is actually being forced to refresh and revise what they already know. By allowing them to apply that learning outside the classroom, institutions can give students exposure to a much broader range of course materials. In addition, since students learn better when they are given a variety of resources that they can use to reinforce their learning, open course materials allow them to make use of whatever resources are available to them, including multimedia presentations, chat rooms, forums, newsletters, and even independent study.
Finally, some universities have established connections with various companies that offer free online college courses, allowing them to offer students a chance to earn some college credit. For example, the University of Phoenix frequently offers students credits for their classes. Like the Khan Academy, the University of Phoenix is supported by the company that provides it with the necessary technology. In addition, several other universities also work with companies that offer free online college courses. In case you are unable to find a course you want to take on campus, you might consider looking into these universities and seeing if they would be willing to offer you a credit card instead.