I decided to focus on MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) and how adult learners are gravitating towards them.
As an adult learner and middle aged I thought this was fitting. Jon Bellum writes that one the benefits to MOOCs is the lower costs involved. Other benefits are shorter time of completion, transfer of credits from one institution to the next, and the credits obtained towards a degree and even advancement in their jobs, wage increases and security. Bellum writes that learners in this field of learning are considered non-traditional learner where they are not experiencing the traditional way of learning as one would in a university and on campus. He says MOOCs are here to stay even though he has seen a drop in participation in 2013 he believes that more institutions should be taking advantage to bring more non-traditional adult learners on board.
I can see this style of advance learning is very beneficial to the learner and the institution involved. Not only does it save the learner the time and costs involved (tradition learner) the institution also saves. MOOC’s have the capability of having more students in the class but can also offer the course in many countries. Partnering up with other institutions can also be beneficial. Instead of creating new material, courses and programs, institutions can partner up.
When it comes to classroom involvement, I can see traditional students using MOOCs in addition to regular classes to a degree and also see non traditional students embracing MOOCs so advancing their education doesn’t interfere with their jobs, livelihood, finances, etc. Alternative teaching methods now give students in high school the opportunity to use MOOC courses as part of their credit towards a course.
In my related field of work, I know of two institutions that are offering courses to learn more about Aboriginal history and perspectives. UBC and UoT (Coursera) and two below.