Get What You Need from a MOOC
To get the most from a MOOC, a massive open online course, you don’t have to invest hours and hours of your time. There are generally three ways to learn what you need.
- Go for the certification. This means completing all the coursework, and sometimes paying a fee. Certification is helpful if you’re brand new to the topic because the extra effort to complete the assignments will ensure that you actually learn what you hope to. It’s a smart investment if you need to prove to a current or potential employer that you have certain skills.
- Audit. Another option is to watch the videos but not complete the assignments. You don’t get a certificate, but you can learn at your own pace. It’s the right way to go if you’re looking to brush up on a topic and don’t have several hours a week to commit to the workload.
- Sample. This means watching a video here or there to get the specific knowledge that you need. For example, say you wanted to do some regression modeling in Excel. Instead of watching a full course, you might look for a single lesson in a broader statistics course.