Online Education Pros and Cons - Essay Example

Coursera Review

Coursera was founded in April 2012 by Ng and Koller who maintained their position at Stanford University in order to start their company. By the seventh month of 2013, the company had managed to raise over $22 million from venture capitalist firms and individuals in the Silicon Valley. The mission of the company is to provide access to quality education for people who are unable to access the universities due to circumstances that are known best to them. Online courses have become a common thing in this day and age as the online course business is valued at $107 billion. The need to maintain the students under the program astute and always on an increasing learning curve, there is a need for the use of motivation and incentives in order to boost their interest in finishing up the program (Koller, Chen, & Ng, 2013).

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The proponents of the implementation of MOOCs, include the following, financial considerations, it is cheaper to learn online as opposed to travelling all the way to the university to have a class room lecture. The low marginal cost of MOOCs and the aspect of reaching a wide population of individuals, giving a lecturer a massive number of people to reach and educate as opposed to a normal class room setting. In recent cases, Coursera has been facing a challenge of having terrible completion rates among students on the online courses. It is important to consider that this problem is a cross platforms challenge that calls for the development of new mechanisms that can be used in developing interest among student in order to increase their interest in finishing up their online courses. Massive Open Online Course offer courses from different fields all together on their online platforms, the challenge is the participants opting out before they finish up their studies. The have recorded 2% to 10% completion rates in many of their courses and this has proved to be very detrimental to the progress of the online platform (Dean, 2016).

What are the Benefits of Online Learning Essay

There is a need to develop novel ways that is going to keep the students focused as many of them have the feeling of being alone hence contributing to the low performance and completion rates in many online courses. Coursera has faced this challenge for a while now, but there need to be strategies that can be used to increase motivation and kick start the importance of their online course to people’s minds.

Taking an outlook at Coursera, the organization has integrated the use of video lecture, quizzes automatic assessment grading, and it has the ability to handle high volumes of traffic. The basic foundation of the program is to offer the client relevant information in regards to the courses they are studying. In the core, companies like Coursera, Udacity, and Edx strive to increase the access to quality education to individuals across the world through an online platform that can be accessed globally (Mucherah & Yoder, 2008). The main advantage of the online platform is that the courses can be developed and translated into different languages hence helping out students understand the coursework no matter your background.

From a business perspectives, MOOCs seek to increase their revenues through increased student enrollment, high student activity, signup for advanced or enterprise packages and having more tutors which mean more avenues of cash flow. The recent past has indicated a detrimental trend in the progression of online course, many students have been unable to complete their studies and many ends up forgetting about the courses they signed up for (Jiang, Williams, Warschauer, He, & O’Dowd, 2014). This trend is of negative effects to many MOOCs; there is a need for intervention mechanism to be put in place in order to avoid a scenario where online course companies become obsolete, and no one is investing in the field no more.

Challenges of Online Learning

In the year 2012, Coursera enrolled over 40,000 to 60,000 students to their online platform while only 50 to 60 percent came back for their first class. Another challenge was the handover of assignments for grading; Coursera has had a challenged as only 15 to 20% of student handed over their assignments. Out of the first group, only 45 % of the students finished up the course while out of them only 5% passed successfully (Dean, 2016).

In this paper, we are going to tackle the need to increase retention and maintaining the student focus on the program until the project is finished up. There is a need to emphasize on retention based on monetary survival of the company but for the sake of the learner;s original intent. One should understand what was the learners original intention upon signing up for the online course, what motivated them into enrolling into the program, what future aspiration do they have, all these are necessary in enabling the learner to maintain their focus and in the long run it would increase the retention rates and hence the increase of completion rates.

Problems with Online Education

The admission into a campus for any student is targeted towards the achievement of the course requirements and the attainment of credentials. In many cases the intention of the achievement of a credential is still a key motivating factor in MOOCs. When the student has not received the targeted goal, it is either the system has failed, the student has failed, or both student and the system are faulty in a way. The same applies to MOOCs, if the student who signs up do not end up finishing the course and receiving a certificate as an award then it is either there is something wrong with the platform, the lecturers, timeframes of classes, the flexibility of tutors or even the students themselves. It is important to do a cross check of every possible factor that may contribute to lowering the student’s completion rates in MOOCs (Jiang, Williams, Warschauer, He, & O’Dowd, 2014).

Understanding that there are no barriers of entry and the free course options, it is possible for individuals to opt out of online classes as it did not cost them anything upon signup into the program. It is valid to say that most students have no obligation to the organization in the case they decide to opt out of the classes they enrolled to. This begs the question of why did they sign up in the first place, understanding that the students had an initial motivation towards enrolling to a certain course then there is need to resuscitate the initial motivation. It is important to learn through observation of student;s participation in the classes; this is based on their aptitude in class and their willingness to partake in assignment and submitting them back for evaluation.

The categorization of students into groups based on active participation should be a technique that is important to analyses which groups needs to be motivated and reminded of the earlier agenda they had for their lives. Passive, Active groups clearly describe the types of students. The passive group can be motivated to comeback to active learning through the use of reminders and incentives that can help them see the need for pursing their goals and avoiding loss of sight of the primary objective.