How are Esri MOOCs Different from other E-learning Offerings?

08-09-2017 05:36 AM
Esri Regular Contributor
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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).

E-learning options menu from the Esri training page, including MOOCs.

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 almost 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. MOOC instructors guide students and encourage students  to help one another. Many students note that learning from one another is the best part of the MOOC experience.

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 and 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 few weeks. The course material is most commonly introduced week by week.

5. E-learning resources typically cover specific skills on specific software products. A typical course is "Customizing the ArcGIS API for JavaScript Widgets.”


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, step-by-step exercises, class discussions and quizzes.

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