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Open Online Learning in Georgia

January 4, 2013
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Georgia Tech, Emory and other universities around the world are using a promising new innovation to provide free online education. Last year alone, millions of people signed up to take these massive open online courses, or MOOCs.

Most MOOCs have no limit on attendance and can be taken by virtually anyone. Discussion groups and peer interaction are also highly encouraged in these high-capacity classes, so students from all over the country and many other parts of the world can work together to solve problems and review for exams. Some schools are also beginning to offer credit for these open courses.

While there are still challenges to the relatively new concept of MOOCs, universities and other organizations are making efforts to continuously evaluate and improve these programs. In November 2012, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave millions of dollars in grants for research and development of MOOCs.

Georgia Tech began offering MOOCs in fall 2012, and Emory begins this month. Both universities offer courses through Coursera. Other schools also offer MOOCs from organizations like Udacity and edX.

Georgia encourages other options for online learning as well. The University System of Georgia's GeorgiaONmyLINE offers a wealth of information about for-credit online classes available from 35 public institutions around the state. For high school students, the Department of Education's Georgia Virtual Learning has a wide array of courses and course recovery options.

About the Author

Sunita Kapahi writes about education, public safety, social services, and transportation for GeorgiaGov. She is an Atlanta native and a graduate of Georgia State University.