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Daily Buzz: Online Classes Are a Low-cost Investment

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College enrollment may be down, but don’t mistake that for a lack of interest in education. Online courses are skyrocketing, particularly the variety known as MOOCs, or massive open online courses. Enrollment at one platform was up 640 percent from mid-March to mid-April from the same period in 2019.

Chris Impey, a professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona who also leads research on MOOCs, writes at The Conversation about this colossal growth. The COVID-19 pandemic logically accounts for part of the explosion, but that doesn’t mean online education is a flash in the pan. “With the catalyst of the pandemic, the full potential of MOOCs may be realized,” Impey said.

The birth of micro-credentials (modular units that can be combined to form a qualification), partnerships with universities, rising college costs and the skills gap have all contributed to the rise of online education.

It’s a boon for learners of all sorts—and a particular opportunity for employers (and associations, which could offer MOOCs as a part of their educational offerings).

“Most people pay for MOOCs themselves and take them in their spare time, which is a missed chance for employers to invest in their workforce relatively cheaply,” Impey said.

Please select this link to read the original article from Associations Now.

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