Home > The Treasure Hunt Club > ■ The Treasure Hunt Club No. 85

■ The Treasure Hunt Club No. 85 (2012年09月13日)

カテゴリー: The Treasure Hunt Club
■ The Treasure Hunt Club No. 85
August 2012 Treasure Hunt
Marcel Van Amelsvoort
Kanagawa Prefectural Institute of Language and
Culture Studies

MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses are getting
really big. And by big I mean both popular and
famous. They are courses offered for free from
famous universities such as Stanford University,
Duke University, and the University of Edinburgh.
For people in Japan with an interest in studying
at the university level in English MOOCs represent
an exciting opportunity. In the past, university
courses have been available via iTunesU or YouTube,
or some combination of the two, but these new
MOOCs are a much more course-like experience. From
a dedicated website, you enroll, watch videos,
take tests, post comments on discussion boards,
and exchange assignments. There is even a
completion certificate available if you complete
everything successfully. There are several sites
through which you can now access these courses and
for the time being, they are completely free. As I
said, they are also popular, and enrollments of 60
or 70 thousand students are common in a single

First up is Udacity. At present it only offers 14
courses, and most of them are computer-related.
But they are growing, with new courses being added
regularly. http://www.udacity.com/

Next is Edx produced by Harvard, MIT and Berkeley.
There are only 6 courses here at the moment, but
as with Udacity, plans are to have many more in
the future. Science and computer science courses
are best represented. https://www.edx.org/

At the moment, the best collection of courses can
be found at Coursera. They presently list 132
courses, though not all courses are available all
the time. Some have already started, some have
finished, and some have not yet had a scheduled
date announced. Courses run for between 5 and 10
weeks usually at scheduled times. You can sign up
anytime for courses being offered as far ahead as
next spring. They also have a wider selection of
courses, including Greek Mythology, World Music,
and various history courses.

These courses are suitable for educators trying to
keep their own English skills sharp and university
students who would like to try out some post-
secondary education in English. An amazing number
of people from a huge variety of countries are
presently taking advantage of the free learning
these MOOCs are providing.