Value Added Education


Harvard and MIT offer free online courses

Dr.T.P.Sethumadhavan

Students around the world will get a rare opportunity to associate with top class American Universities. Recently American Universities like Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced a non profitable partnership company edX worth 30 million US dollars to offer free online courses. Moreover Universities coming under Ivy League like Stanford, Princeton, Yale, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Chicago formed a new commercial company Coursera with 16 million US dollar under venture capital fund. MIT started an open online learning project MITx. 1,20000 students have enrolled for the course on Circuits and Electronics. Meanwhile 200000 students have enrolled for the course on Artificial intelligence by Stanford Universities.

Through online courses, students can associate with top class universities and enroll the courses free of cost. Moreover they can access online education with video lesson segments, embedded quizzes and enjoy immediate feed back and student placed learning situations quickly. Major courses coming under online distance education stream are engineering, humanities, developmental studies, computer science, software, teaching methods, methodologies, etc. Most of the courses are of one year duration. MIT and Harvard officials claimed that the new online classes offer opportunities for students and researchers and the courses will be rated much when compared to low ranked colleges. Those who complete the course will get a certificate of mastery and a grade, but will not get an official credit.

Stanford engineering every where has modules on programming methodology, Abstractions and Paradigms (www.see.stanford.edu). Coursera has subjects from various Universities such as University of Pennsylvania, Princeton and Michigan (www.coursera.org). Courses may range from Introduction to Sociology to the ways vaccines work.

In the era of globalization where global village concept is getting momentum in the education sector, these online education programmes of best rated US Universities will be really a boom for students from Asian countries especially from India. Moreover they will get free access to world class universities and their certificate will be rated high in the career market. Advanced teaching methods and methodologies will help to improve skill development and work efficiency among college teachers.

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