Some times evolution in structured learning surprises me. Think about it a 1000 years ago, if you got to learn you got to sweat it out at Gurukuls. You got to be equivalent of a servant to the Guru, please him with your service and get blessed with some gyan. May be not so far ago (and wrt some courses even today), you got to clear competitive exams, adhere stringent selection process of group discussions / personal interviews etc to get into that dream course of yours (Not to mention the slogging involved in completing the course).
This kind of highly involved and intensive format of learning is great for children. But as we get into full time professions, the opportunity cost just shoots up and our learning rate just drops off the cuff. The part time courses were the saviors for the conscious continuous learners. These courses with their increasing acceptability in the job market were a boon but nevertheless the self preparation and the examination process involved kept my types at a safe distance.
Today, with every home being connected, there are innumerable courses being made available through our smart devices. Just imagine, you could watch your favorite course video on your wonder-box while you sip your coffee at the comfort of your desk, or you could just turn on the podcast while you drive back home.
Personally I love Coursera and found it damn easy and useful. While the acceptability / recognition for these courses is a little far away, they serve the purpose of fun-filled / easy learning.
So be happy to belong to this era of entertaining life-long learning and try out your first online course ever. Trust me, you will thank me for my recommendation!
Cheers to all the learners out there