September has just started, and in many countries, that means schools have started, too. For everybody who has the fortune to attend school, that is, but especially for those who are in their final year of secondary education, and are looking ahead to the next step. For many students, and their parents, this year will be about choosing which college or university to go to or apply for.
Picking the right school to go to, is not the easiest task. There are many factors that can play a role: family tradition, vicinity, place in rankings, job perspective, topics offered and so on. Many, if not all of these, are based on the opinion of others about these school. Maybe the parents have attended themselves, so they have a certain experience and inside knowledge, but much can change between their school years, and next year.
Now, imagine these two scenarios: first we have Laura. she wants to study mathematics. Her parents, Louise, a logistics manager at a large multinational, and Johan, an entrepreneur, want to understand a bit more about the topic, but also help Laura to pick the right school. They both studied business at a university that has no mathematics program, and other than that, Laura also might want to go and study abroad.
Secondly, we have Thom. Thom wants to study either anthropology, psychology, or philosophy, but he doesn’t really know which one he prefers. They all seem similarly interesting to him.
Now, the factors discussed before can help both Thom and Laura and her parents, but not completely. However, there is another way that they can use to come to the best choice: MOOCs.
In our first scenario, Laura, Louise and Johan turn to the Mooctivity website to find courses on mathematics from different universities. They enroll in a couple, and start learning together. Louise and Johan learn a bit more about the subject their daughter is going to study, and feel closer to her. And together, they can see which university brings the subject in the most interesting way. After the courses, Louise has made up her mind: she has picked the school that has a very engaging professor.
Thom, from our second scenario, has heard about Coursera. In his school, they have taken a MOOC from this platform before, and he liked it. He enrolls in courses of philosophy, psychology and anthropology. He really enjoys learning, and looks for more. In the end, he decides he wants to study sociology, with a focus on economic development. He has learned that this study combines his interests in philosophy, psychology and anthropology, with his ambition to help people.
In both our scenarios, MOOCs and MOOC platforms have helped to make the decision on which school to pick. They can help you, too.
How do (or did) you pick the right school?
This post was published earlier on LinkedIn.