Esri offers five different Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). My recent experiences suggest our MOOCs are still a bit mysterious to students, educators and professionals.
In this post, I want to highlight how our MOOCs are different from Esri’s other free e-Learning offerings (Web Courses, Training Seminars, Videos and Tutorials).
1. While some free e-Learning resources are accessible to everyone, others require you or your organization to own qualifying products under maintenance.
MOOCs are free to anyone, anywhere who wants to learn. All required accounts and software are provided for the duration of the course, without cost.
2. E-learning resources are video- or text- based; there is no interaction with the instructor or other learners.
While there is no “real time” instruction in an Esri MOOC, each course is led by an experienced instructor. Instructors guide students, provide support and answer questions, often on topics beyond the course content. Further, students are encouraged to help one another. Instructors acknowledge “the most helpful students” with Esri prizes.
3. E-learning resources are available on demand. Students can take them when they need to learn or review a topic or technique or whenever they feel the itch to learn.
MOOCs are more like college courses. Students must register in advance, or within the first two weeks of a course to join the current offering. Exercises and other assignments must be completed by the end of the course.
4. E-learning resources run minutes or up to a few hours.
MOOCs run over a four or six-week period. The course material is introduced either all at once or week by week.
MOOCs focus on broader topics such as spatial analysis, location analytics, building apps without coding, applications of imagery, and cartography. While students use Esri software, MOOCs are not designed to train students to use specific features or software packages.
6. E-Learning Web Courses include quizzes and exercises; other learning formats depend on videos and text.
Here again, MOOCs are more like college classes. They include video lectures and conversations, step-by-step exercises, class discussions and quizzes.