Top 5 Strategies For Using MOOCs To Strengthen Your College Applications

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Here are 5 top strategies to employ so that you can use MOOCs to fill academic gaps and show a passionate interest in college and university course work. This can definitely make your college application stand out!

Are you thinking about applying to a top four-year college or one of the best universities in the U.S. in order to earn your bachelor’s degree? Earning a bachelor’s degree is a huge feat, so it is no surprise that the top college and best university admissions offices use specific criteria to determine which students will be admitted to their schools.

If earning a bachelor’s degree at the college or university of choice is your goal, let’s talk about how to make your college application stand out. Everyone's present situation is marked strongly by the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic that has resulted in the closure of high school and college campuses across the nation. In this article, we will discuss a great online option that can help you sharpen yourself for college applications.

Although useful on their own, MOOCs give high school students, looking to apply to universities to earn their bachelor's degrees, the opportunity to set themselves apart from their peers.

Here are five top strategies that can help high school students make the most of MOOCs on college or university applications. 

(1) Establish goals.

An obvious use of a MOOC can be to address a weakness in one's high school performance or augment your curriculum. If your high school focuses on science, you can use a MOOC to demonstrate a commitment to specific advanced subjects such as basic science classes or astronomy. If you don’t have access to Advanced Placement English Literature and composition courses, for example, consider enrolling in a western literature MOOC.

If you received an uncharacteristically poor grade in a high school course, you can also choose a MOOC that shows you are determined to correct past mistakes. The most important aspect is to identify the specific goal you are working toward.

(2) Know your audience.

Research all admissions qualifications for your short list of colleges and universities. If you are planning to seek entry to a specific major, your MOOC choice can emphasize commitment to a specific course of study. High school students who have already completed several classes in his or her intended major may be taken more seriously than a student who appears to have little familiarity with his or her proposed course of study

Alternatively, a student's major-specific class foundation may be solid, but his or her preferred college is interested in well-rounded individuals who are curious about the world. He or she may fit the description perfectly but have a transcript that does not necessarily demonstrate the same breadth.

If this is the case and you are applying to a science program at a liberal arts college or university, an online class in art history or international politics can highlight your full range of academic interests. Likewise, a MOOC focused on biomechanics or math can help an aspiring art student show interest in the world beyond his or her studio.

(3) Seek proof of completion.

Some MOOCs offer certificates of completion, while some do not. Use MOOC List or Coursera to search specifically for MOOCs that offer some form of formal acknowledgement. Even if an online course includes a certificate, it is often wise to conduct further research about what it means.

There is no centralized standard for online certification, so MOOCs can vary in their requirements. Try to choose MOOC courses for which proof of completion is easy to share. Remember that you will share accomplishments with an admissions department that will wish to verify claims.

(4) Share your accomplishments.

MOOC List also has a tool that allows users to aggregate completed MOOCs in one easy-to-share location. The Internet environment evolves quickly, do your best to avoid relying on a single tool, but maintain a list of your MOOCs. You want to show your online certificates! Think about uploading information to your LinkedIn Profile.

College applicants typically will not have a field for listing MOOCs, so you may have to be creative in how you let college admissions staff know about your MOOC record. One possible method is to integrate completed or ongoing classes into your social media profiles, such as a LinkedIn profile. Your experiences as a high school student in courses intended for college students could be the subject of a blog.

The admissions essay is another way to allude to MOOC credentials. Colleges will ask for evidence of leadership, of independence and of moments where you showed initiative. Completing a MOOC demonstrates all three of these aspects.

(5) Be proactive.

MOOCs are designed by accomplished instructors for students at top, elite institutions. As a high school student, you may find the a MOOC class to be quite challenging. Be proactive in seeking help, through message boards associated with the course, online videos not formally part of the course or teachers at your high school.

College will definitely be challenging. You can treat this experience as a tune-up. Record your struggles and use them in your admissions essays.

Taking a MOOC can help make your college application stand out while you are in the process of applying to a top university in order to earn your bachelor’s degree. By using MOOCs wisely, you can make sure that your college application to earn a bachelor’s degree a a top university stands out as much as possible.

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