Free Online Courses (MOOCs)

Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) - Key Concepts for New Users

Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems MOOC

Embry-Riddle Worldwide offers MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) to anyone with an Internet connection and a desire to learn about aviation. And they are free!

The course, "Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) - Key Concepts for New Users," runs from Feb. 6 to Feb. 19. Register now.

Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) - Key Concepts for New Users, a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) presented by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide. This course introduces participants to concepts related to the operations of unmanned aerospace systems.

The MOOC is perfect for recreational drone users operating models like the Parrot Bebop, DJI Phantom 4, DJI Mavic or DJI Inspire. The free online course will also provide industry professionals with UAS training that can be applied in fields such as real estate; utilities; public safety and law enforcement; surveying; photography; agriculture and precision agriculture; and insurance.

This two-part MOOC covers key concepts related to small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS)/recreational drones, including basic types/groups, capabilities, and current and future uses. Particular emphasis is placed on safety of flight within the National Airspace System (NAS), including where to find the online flight planning tools to help make every flight as safe as possible. The MOOC also introduces the FAA's new regulations (FAA Part 107) for sUAS operators who wish to operate commercially. 

This course is taught by a team of UAS experts, led by Dr. Scott Burgess, Associate Professor with the College of Aeronautics. Dr. Burgess has 32 years of aviation experience both military and civilian that spans helicopters, unmanned systems, jets, and includes instructor ratings, certificates, and licenses. He has developed/instructed live and online courses for 16 years, including several of ERAU’s UAS courses. Scott serves as the ERAU representative and secretary of the UAS Committee for the Helicopter Association International and he consults on sUAS integration for security applications. 

Frequently Asked Questions about MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)

Whether you are a high school student thinking about a career in aviation, an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University student considering a different program of study, or a curious learner interested in getting a “free sample” of what the world’s largest aviation university has to offer, signing up for a MOOC could be right for you.

A MOOC, or Massive Open Online Course, is a free online course offered by a university free of charge to anyone interested. MOOCs have grown in popularity in recent years, as universities have discovered that MOOCS can help to draw interest in their quality courses and faculty.

With no costs for participating in the course besides one’s time, students are able to get an extended glimpse of the kind of education available at the world’s premier aeronautical university without worrying about tuition. MOOCs provide risk-free learning!

Whereas on-campus and online university courses are primarily driven by lectures and interaction with professors, much of the learning in MOOCs is obtained from collaboration with classmates.

Most of the MOOC coursework will be asynchronous, providing students with the flexibility to watch lectures and work on assignments on their own timetable. The heart of MOOC learning lies in peer-to-peer interaction outside of the online classroom.

Students will view recorded lectures and read course material, but they will also share ideas with fellow MOOC classmates on discussion boards and social media platforms, such as Twitter.

For more on the educational tools used in MOOCs and other online courses offered by Embry-Riddle Worldwide, read about Technology for the Modern Student.

Anyone with Internet access can register. Because MOOCs are open to everyone, classes are often made up of a large, diverse group that spans many ages, ethnicities, and locations. The different backgrounds help to foster the exchange of ideas by bringing divergent viewpoints to the collaborative process.

The MOOC’s value comes from the content of the virtual classwork and from learning in a massive online environment, a medium that might be new to the student.

Since students are not working toward a grade or college credit, they can enroll in the MOOC without having to worry about how it will affect their GPA.

Students can do all or some of the activities  ̶  read the many valuable resources; provide insights and experiences in the discussions; join the conversation on Twitter; or choose whatever they want to do to learn about human factors. It's up to the individual student.    

Some examples of people who could benefit from enrolling in a MOOC:

  • High school student interested in aviation and/or considering applying for admission to Embry-Riddle
  • Nontraditional students  who are unsure if they are ready to head back to campus or able to achieve success in an online course
  • Students at Embry-Riddle considering changing degree programs
  • Students at other universities looking to get a firsthand glimpse of the quality courses at Embry-Riddle before deciding to transfer
  • Aviation professionals considering changing fields within the industry
  • Lifelong learners with a general interest in aviation or particular interest in the MOOC topic

It’s OK!

While we hope everyone who enrolls in a MOOC enjoys and completes the course, there is no obligation to do so. If at any time you’d like to leave the course — for whatever reason — you may do so.

Students who complete the MOOC will receive a record of attendance to mark their accomplishment. A social media badge noting successful completion of the course may be available for students who pass the course.

Students will not receive college credit for completing the MOOC.

Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) - Key Concepts for New Users

  • Register now 
  • Start date: February 6, 2017
  • End date: February 19, 2017

Future MOOCs

  • Email us and let us know if you are interested in being contacted about upcoming MOOCs.