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5 Ways an Open SUNY Course is Like Your Favorite App

Open SUNY website on smartphone

These days, there is an app for just about anything – meal coupons, fitness trackers, even ones that locate available public restrooms

Open SUNY is making it easier than ever to enroll in online courses. Like apps, there are Open SUNY courses that satisfy every possible need or want. And these courses have more in common with apps than the sheer variety of them (although there are 12,000 course sections!).

We’ve assembled our Top 5 ways an Open SUNY course is like your favorite app:

1. You just HAVE to have them

Just like there are some apps you might not be able to live without (cough, Spotify, cough), there are some courses you might not be able to live without. This semester alone, there are courses on everything from brewing ingredients to voter math and alternative medicine. One campus even offers app design! With so much variety, how can you not want to take one?

2. They are fun!

Think about your favorite online game. Why is it your favorite? Is it the basic premise, like matching 3 or more candies or jewels? Is it the colors? The sounds? Well, online courses aren’t that different. Your instructors are just like you – they want their classes to be enjoyable, too. So, like the professors at Monroe Community College, professors are working hard to add in videos, interactive activities, and other engaging materials.

3. They take you to new places

What do the internet and your favorite pieces of literature have in common? They can take you to places you have never been before. Through online courses, many students get the opportunity to go on a field trip. Yes, you heard me right – a field trip! Students in the nursing program at the University at Buffalo have been taking virtual field trips to the National Institutes of Health, National Patient Safety Foundation, Museum of Nursing History, and other sites for years. They speak with people in the organization, look up points of interest, and write about their experience for their classmates. And all from the comfort of their living room.

4. They build on each other

If you’re a frequent gamer, you know that Candy Crush level 76 is a heck of a lot harder than Candy Crush level 22. The same with Pac-Man, or Angry Birds, or any other online game. But, the objects of the games don’t change – you are still matching candies, avoiding ghosts, and launching birds in the sky.

Online courses work the same way. You might start off simply, creating a video introducing yourself to the class or posting on a discussion board. And in the end, you are working with your classmates on group video projects, term papers, and incorporating your knowledge from related coursed into your responses on multiple discussion threads. If that’s not building, I don’t know what is!

5. They are a great way to meet new people

Online courses have more in common with social media or dating apps like Facebook or Tinder than you might think. First – a lot of people can enroll at one time. A Buffalo State College MOOC had over 40,000 students enroll during the Spring 2015 semester. That’s about 39,700 more than you might meet in a traditional first year science course, which is a lot of possible study partners.

Second – A LOT of SUNY college sweethearts wind up tying the knot. Using historical data and enrollment figures, SUNY estimates that about 39,512 married couples met on a SUNY campus. So, just imagine how many more couples could meet because of online courses!

Emily Schwartz

Written by Emily Schwartz

Emily Schwartz is the Coordinator of Open SUNY Communication and Projects.


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