What Massive Open Online Courses Have to Offer K-12 Teachers & Students

Published on October 7, 2013

Modified on December 10, 2020

Written By: 

Richard E. FerdigResearch Center for Educational Technology, Kent State University

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have been on the forefront of current conversations about teaching and learning in the 21st century. The ability for participants at all levels to take free courses in hundreds of topics ranging from guitar to nuclear physics has created as many opportunities as it has challenges and questions. For the most part, the topics and the conversations have focused on professional development and post-secondary education; MOOCs may end up changing how we teach and learn at the graduate and undergraduate levels. However, MOOCs are also now being implemented in K–12 environments. There are several ways in which MOOCs in their current formats can be used by K–12 students and teachers. There are also several benefits from K–12 educators considering the definitions of MOOCs and the concepts they present. This paper presents a conversation about the potential value of MOOCs in K–12 teaching and learning.

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Limited Course Capacity

We’re sorry to inform you that we have reached capacity for several of our Semester 1 and Trimester 1 courses. You’ll notice when attempting to enroll students in our Student Learning Portal that some courses are unavailable. While we are no longer accepting new enrollments for these courses at this time, many courses continue to remain open for enrollment.

With many students across the state 100% remote, demand for our online courses is greater than ever before. Because every course we offer is taught by a Michigan-certified teacher, this high volume of enrollments has created capacity issues for our teachers who provide each and every student with individual feedback.

While the Michigan Virtual team anticipated and planned for significant increases in student enrollments this Fall, the increased demand we’ve experienced has been unprecedented. As a result, we are taking steps to hire even more part-and full-time teachers to support larger numbers of student enrollments for Semester 2 as well as for Trimester 2 and 3. 

For schools that still need online learning options this year, please fill out the form at the bottom of our virtual pathways page to meet with someone to discuss other solutions. While some of our teacher-led courses are full, we may still have the capacity to help you in upcoming terms or can discuss timing to implement a whole-school or collaborative program in which local teachers from your school/district use our online course content to teach students. We also have free course content and resources available for you to use.

We know this is an incredibly stressful time for all, and we’re sorry if the courses you’re looking for are unavailable. We never want to turn away a student who wants to learn from us. Our top concern, however, is student success, and we have a policy to not take on additional enrollments if we cannot guarantee that all students will have a quality online learning experience. 

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the unusually high volume of enrollments we are receiving.