I recently decided to go back to school and finish up my degree, or should I say a degree. You see quite a few years ago I had plans of going into the field of nursing and had gotten all of my prerequisites done in order to get into the program. Unfortunately while taking some of my anatomy and physiology classes I realized just how much I did not want to be a nurse. I ended up getting married and raising a family so school went on the back burner. Now that my youngest is in school full time, I decided it was also time for me to go back to school and do some online learning.
Going back to school was scary and exciting, but I had no idea what I wanted to study or major in. So what am I supposed to do while I try to figure out what career I am interested in pursuing, waste a bunch of money on classes I may not need? Thankfully I can enroll in MOOCs, Mass Open Online Classes which are offered by large providers like Coursera, edX, and Udacity as well as some universities. These are free online classes in everything from math to medicine to software debugging and everything in between. Most of these courses do not count for credit but they are available to anyone with internet access.
Why would I want to take MOOCs?
Well for starters you can explore your interests without committing to expensive college courses. You can brush up on your Algebra so that when your kid comes to you with homework questions, you know how to help them. You can learn those extra skills to be able to finally start that business you have been dreaming of starting. Thinking about buying a horse? Why not take a class about Equine nutrition, who knows, maybe it will inspire you to become a vet.
As a mom I already have many responsibilities, besides everyday mom duties I also work part time outside the home as well as online, so I thought it would be difficult to find time to take classes. At times it does seem like I have a lot on my plate, but the best times for me to study are early mornings and after the kids go to bed, the house is quiet and I can think clearly. You have to remember that even though you are taking classes in the comfort of your own home, you do still have to have some discipline and be active in your course. You will only get as much out of each class as you put in to it. Set aside a time when you know you will not be distracted or bothered and participate in discussions and make sure to complete all assignments and assessments on time.
All MOOCs are not created equal and its really up to you to do some research to find ones that will fit your needs. Although most MOOCs do not count as college credits, some do. Some other ones offer a certificate of completion signed by the instructor which might be something useful to a potential employer or college or university.
Agnes Rhodes is a mom of two as well as a full time blogger and part time college student.