How to Choose: MOOC Sites

Posted by You Fei Chan
How to Choose: MOOC Sites

There are nearly 6 million people taking an online course today. Platforms like Coursera, edX, Udemy, SkillShare and Shaw Academy offered the online course with convenience, cost-effective and user-friendly.

Let’s dig into details of what are the advantages of it.

Advantages of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

1. Convenience

The physical class courses can easily be a burden to some people. It may require you to attend the class multiple times per week or rush to the class after work. However, the time required for online courses are flexible, it allows us to learn at our own pace, anytime and anywhere.

2. Cost-Effective

The cost of learning online is cheaper compared to the physical classes conducted in the university because the setup fee is very cheap. All we need to learn online is just an internet connection and some software which are already installed on our computer or laptop. Learning online cost lower because students will not need to pay for the commuting fee, printing fee for study materials and facility fees that are incurred in all the traditional colleges.

3. User-friendly

Are you having a hard time trying to follow the pace of your lecturer in the classroom? Copying notes from the screen and when you sometime miss some of the important notes because lecturers were talking too fast? Now, fear no more because, with the help of the technology, students will able to play, pause, rewind or even skip to the part that they missed out. The online lecture is also able to show some videos to make the lesson extra effective and better understanding for the student.

Comparison of MOOC Sites: Coursera, edX, Udemy, SkillShare and Shaw Academy

With the advantages of MOOC. Let’s have a look at a simple comparison below among the five online learning platforms:

Coursera edX Udemy Skillshare Shaw Academy
Number of users 33 million 14 million 14 million 14 million 4 million
Number of Courses
  • > 2,000 courses
  • > 180 specializations
  • 10 Master Degrees
  • > 2,000 > 65,000 > 22,000 > 50
    Courses teaching materials University syllabus University syllabus Tutorial videos Tutorial videos Personalise Shaw Academy syllabus
    Instructors Experienced university lecturers Experienced university lecturers Experts in the industries Experts in the industries Experts in the industries
    Collaboration of Universities/ Companies
  • Stanford
  • National University of Singapore
  • Indian School of Business
  • University of Tokyo
  • Google
  • The University of Oxford
  • University of Texas
  • Hong Kong Polytechnic
  • Inter-American Development Bank
  • Educational Testing Service (ETS)
  • New York Times’ journalist
  • Adobe
  • VSCO
  • Mail Chimp
  • Quirky
  • Big Cartel
  • -
    Availability of apps on iOS & Android Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Classes/Task available
  • Individual courses or specialization courses (only run on a subscription basis)
  • Quizzes and programming assignment
  • Instructor-Paced
  • Self-Paced
  • Assignments and exams
  • Minimum of 5 lectures with at least 30 minutes of video content Totals length of video lessons 20-60 minutes (Each video lessons are 2-5 minutes)
  • iLive lesson- 1 hour per session, a total of 10 sessions per course
  • 2-3 times a week
  • Free 30-days trial for all courses
  • Duration of completion 3-4 weeks
  • Instructor-paced : 8-12 weeks
  • Self-paced : 3-12 months
  • Based on the instructors’ sharing Based on the length of the lesson video. 4-5 consecutive weeks
    Cost USD $39 - USD $79 per month based on a subscription basis or individual purchase USD $50 - USD $300 per course
  • Individual: USD $20- USD $200 with a lifetime access
  • Corporate: Team Plan: USD $240 per annual per user with min. 5-20 users, a 14-days of the free trial.
  • team package, starting from USD $ 99 per annum.
  • premium subscription fee, monthly package costs USD $ 15, annual plan, USD $ 99 per year (USD $ 8.25 per month), unlimited access of > 19,000 classes, offline access, no interruption of advertisement & discounts on services.
  • A premium member is USD $49 per month
  • Lifetime membership USD $1250, unlimited access to all courses, webinars, course toolkits
  • Accreditation Yes Extra fee charges - - -

    1. Coursera

    Coursera is an academic MOOC. It was founded by Stanford University professors, who developed Coursera based on their experience in computer science. This online learning platform provides degree courses including bachelor's and master's qualifications which established based on the contents of the university. Besides degree programs, they also have a workforce development product for business and government organisation.

    A. Advantages

    The number of users for Coursera is more compared to the other online learning platform. They also provide master degree courses which based on the university syllabus. The period to complete a course is reasonable.

    B. Disadvantages

    The cost of learning for Coursera is slightly expensive compared to other online learning platforms because the tuition fee charges are based on per monthly basic while others go on per course based.

    But we do believe that Coursera will definitely be worth your money because the certificate provided are rom top universities.

    2. EdX

    edX is also a MOOC with university system just like Coursera, founded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University in May 2012. But Edx is different because it is a nonprofit organization and runs on the free Open edX open sources software platform. The courses on this online learning platform are offered by 70 schools, nonprofit organizations and corporations. Courses provided are mainly for training purposes, especially for a company.

    A. Advantages

    The good side of Edx is that there are two types of learning method which others do not provide, instructor paced and self-paced. There is also an exam for the student as if they are learning from the physical classes.

    B. Disadvantages

    Edx cost of learning is expensive because the fee is charged based on per course and may charged up to USD 300 per course. There is even an extra charge if the student wants to be accredited.

    Although Edx is also expensive the certificate given is with reference to the top university in the world. Therefore if compared to physical class it is definitely cheaper.

    3. Udemy

    Udemy main targeted audiences are professional working adults who wish to improve their job-related skills. This online learning platform is different from Coursera and edX because it is not an academic MOOC program. The courses in this platform do not follow the contents from any universities. But the targeted audiences are similar to edX. Udemy also mainly attract corporate trainers. Furthermore, instructors of Udemy are allowed to build their online courses. Therefore they name themselves as course marketplace.

    A. Advantage

    The number of courses available is more compared to others. The cost of learning is reasonable because the student will have lifetime access when they pay USD 200.

    B. Disadvantage

    The cons of Udemy is the length of learning. The minimum video length provided by instructors is 30 minutes, depending on the type of courses. The price is cheap. Besides, it is actually a skill learning website, if the length of the video is too short it might be too boring for the user.

    4. Skillshare

    Skillshare main target is for those who are interested to learn from the educational video. This online learning platform is a self-paced online course. There will be no instructors to provide live interaction. Besides that, there is no certification of competency, authority or credibility presented. Skillshare only focuses on completing projects. But the instructors of the educational video are all industry leader which are similar to Udemy.

    A. Advantage

    The best part of this is the reasonable cost of learning and there is a different type of packages available for the student to choose.

    B. Disadvantage

    The disadvantage of the Skillshare is similar to Udemy which is the video length prepared by instructors. Similarly, both of the websites focus on skill sharing. Therefore, if the video length is too long user might lose interest in using the website.

    5. Shaw Academy

    Shaw Academy mainly focuses on its live interactive online courses. They also created a personalised education platform called Phoenix which provides personalised service to their students. The courses provided in this online platform are mostly business related topics. Students who are able to complete the course will be accredited based on the course chosen. The Shaw Academy certificate is readable across Europe because it is credit rated to EQF level 5 by Edinburgh Napier University. EQF(European Qualification Framework) relates to different countries national qualification which common to European reference framework.

    A. Advantage

    Shaw Academy has a live lesson with a student, is a combination of physical class & online learning. You will able to interact with the lecturer.

    B. Disadvantage

    Shaw Academy is a new online learning platform compared to the others. There are limited courses available. Besides that, the certificate from this online learning platform is not as well-known. Therefore student enrolled for this online learning platform have to take this into consideration.

    On the second thought, the new website tends to provide better service to their customer because they want to make sure their user have trust in their website. Shaw Academy may have lesser courses compared to the other online learning platform, but they sure have the common course that every online platform has.

    Which MOOC Sites Do You Prefer?

    In my opinion, if you are learning for self-improvement or learning new skills, learning online is surely a good investment because it is convenient with flexible time. Moreover, you can learn in your comfort zone, for example in your pyjamas. If you learn for employability, it is best to know your targeted employer whether they will accept the online course with a certificate.

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    Y Posted By You Fei Chan Business Marketing Team
    Tagged online courses, Self Improvement, udemy, Shaw Academy, edx, Coursera, skillshare