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MOOCs vs ECP – How MeritTrac ECP is the Real Alternative to MOOCs?

Home » MOOCs vs ECP – How MeritTrac ECP is the Real Alternative to MOOCs?

MOOCs vs ECP – How MeritTrac ECP is the Real Alternative toMOOCs?

MOOCs vs ECP – How MeritTrac ECP is the Real Alternative to MOOCs?

Date: 27/07/2020 | Category: Employability , Employability Skills , Education

In this digital world, students want to be industry ready before graduating from their colleges and universities. They bank on various digital platforms to learn a new skill and gain knowledge as a part of their course or extra-curricular activity. The internet, hence, becomes a helpful resource for the students studying different courses.

Universities across the world offer both free and paid Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) through different channels. Teachers are able to offer their favourite subjects through MOOCs. The learners can subscribe to the courses from the list provided on the platforms. It is a great platform for the students to acquire knowledge and skills, that otherwise is not possible through regular courses. The certificate received on course completion gives a sense of recognition to students.

MOOC was first introduced in 2008 and became fairly popular in 2012. By the end of 2013, over 6 million students were registered on Coursera and edX platform, besides university-based MOOC platforms and other e-Learning portals. According to 2019 data, the students base on MOOCs has reached 110 million and 900 universities provide 13.5K courses. In the last year alone, more than 2500 courses were launched by 450 universities. As the COVID-19 crisis popularized the e-learning solutions, the numbers are to be manifold in 2020.

Now, there are about 25 major MOOC providers across the globe – some are giving courses in collaborations with institutions and others offer their own programs. The fully online classes are conducted through recorded video lectures, readings, problem sets, interactive discussion forums, and quizzes and assignments. Since it is self-paced, the majority of students discontinue the courses mid-way or complete only the lectures without engaging in other activities.

However, the major set back for the MOOC is the low completion rate. According to several studies, the completion rate of the courses in the MOOC is just 5 per cent. Though courses are free, most of the MOOC providers expect a certain amount to provide a certificate for a lot of “job-ready” programs. As a result, several students skip the certificates after the course, or drop out in-between and thus, it adds no value to their career ahead.

Extended Curriculum Program

The Extended Curriculum Programs (ECP) from India’s largest assessment and testing company MeritTrac is solving the issues posed by the MOOCs. Offered in a collaboration with educational institutions, these are “industry-ready” supplementary courses for the students without affecting their regular academics. The main objective here is to improve the employability of the students and bridge the skill gap.

Currently, the courses are offered in domains such as big data analytics, data science, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, business analytics and risk management. The courses can be added and/or customized based on the requirements from institutions. Both the partner institutions and their students have several benefits offered to them via ECP.

Unlike MOOCs, it is taught through live online sessions led by experts with hand-on knowledge to inculcate the practical perspective on each subject through case studies, projects, assignments and opportunities to interact with industry leaders. Individual assessments are carried out before and after the program to identify the strength and weakness of each participant and provide personalized analytics. Leading professional training partners Manipal Global or Jigsaw Academy will offer certificates upon successful completion of the course. The certificate will be a real value-add for students CV.

Difference between MOOC & ECP

Although both MOOC and ECP offer supplementary courses to acquire new skills and knowledge, the ECP is trying to build industry-ready fresh graduates with comprehensive training in the most sought-after skills. The live sessions ensure the individual attention to the participants.

The program also helps students for their professional growth with special focus on career guidance through sessions for soft skills, mock interview and resume building workshop. The participant students’ CVs are distributed among the placement agencies and hiring partners to ensure employment after the course.

The other differences are given below:



Completely self-paced monologue

LIVE Expert Led Sessions

No industry relevance; pure theory

Real-life case studies from Industry

No projects, just conceptual knowledge delivered

Capstone Projects across domains & industries

No usage of tools, the most important aspect

Complete Hands-On Approach

Age-old basic concepts being repeated

Covering in-depth trending skillsets


Today’sworld is veryvolatile and competitive and hence, our talent pool needs to be skilled to meet the demands of the industry. The institutions have a great role to play to ensure the employment of their students. Extended Curriculum Program(ECP) is one such opportunity to build industry-ready graduates and a real alternative to the MOOCs.

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