每日英語跟讀 Ep.899: Remember the MOOCs? After Near-Death, They’re Booming
Sandeep Gupta, a technology manager in California, sees the economic storm caused by the coronavirus as a time “to try to future-proof your working life.” So he is taking an online course in artificial intelligence.
Dr. Robert Davidson, an emergency-room physician in Michigan, says the pandemic has cast “a glaring light on the shortcomings of our public health infrastructure.” So he is pursuing an online master’s degree in public health.
Children and college students aren’t the only ones turning to online education during the coronavirus pandemic. Millions of adults have signed up for online classes in the past two months, too — a jolt that could signal a renaissance for big online learning networks that had struggled for years.
Coursera, in which Gupta and Davidson enrolled, added 10 million new users from mid-March to mid-May, seven times the pace of new sign-ups in the previous year. Enrollments at edX and Udacity, two smaller education sites, have jumped by similar multiples.
“Crises lead to accelerations, and this is best chance ever for online learning,” said Sebastian Thrun, a co-founder and chairman of Udacity.
Coursera, Udacity and edX sprang up nearly a decade ago as high-profile university experiments known as MOOCs, for massive open online courses. They were portrayed as tech-fueled insurgents destined to disrupt the antiquated ways of traditional higher education. But few people completed courses, grappling with the same challenges now facing students forced into distance learning because of the pandemic. Screen fatigue sets in, and attention strays.
But the online ventures adapted through trial and error, gathering lessons that could provide a road map for school districts and universities pushed online. The instructional ingredients of success, the sites found, include short videos of six minutes or less, interspersed with interactive drills and tests; online forums where students share problems and suggestions; and online mentoring and tutoring.
A few top-tier universities, such as the University of Michigan and the Georgia Institute of Technology, offer some full degree programs through the online platforms.
While those academic programs are available, the online schools have tilted toward skills-focused courses that match student demand and hiring trends.
The COVID-19 effect on online learning could broaden the range of popular subjects, education experts say. But so far, training for the tech economy is where the digital-learning money lies. With more of work and everyday life moving online — some of it permanently — that will probably not change.
Source articles: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/354879/web/