Beyond the Buzz: MOOCs at UBC, plus a marketing perspective…

MOOC_SMMOOCs and UBC: Top 12 things you need to know now…

In September 2012, UBC entered into an agreement with Coursera to deliver online web-based free courses as part of MOOCs. UBC has four non-credit and free online courses planned for 2013. They include: “Useful Genetics”, “Introduction to Systematic Program Design”, “Climate Literacy: Navigating Climate Conversations” and “Game Theory”.

Read all 12 things in this BC Campus article:
http://www.bccampus.ca/moocs-and-ubc-top-12-things-you-need-to-know-now/


A Marketing Perspective on MOOCs…

My stream-of-consciousness explorations of MOOCs and MOOC-related online chatter brought me to the following article, from wired.com. I never really thought of a MOOC as being “edutainment” before, but I think it just might represent a social merger between mass education and mass entertainment, between social learning and social media.

More than that, the idea (below) that the author sees lifelong learning as a “continuous, on-the-job process” (e.g. vocational) seems to me extremely practical, possible, and a little too skewed towards commerce. IMHO, MOOC-based education has, at some level, been fueled by a business model, like it or not. It’s free – but not without some cost.

This article was written by a Marketer or a Market Analyst (read: business person) – not by an Educator.

Beyond the Buzz, Where Are MOOCs Really Going?

(Originally posted at http://www.wired.com/opinion/2013/02/beyond-the-mooc-buzz-where-are-they-going-really/)

MOOCs can be much more than marketing and edutainment. We believe they are likely to evolve into a “scale business”: one that relies on the technology and data backbone of the medium to optimize and individualize learning opportunities for millions of students.

This is very different than simply putting a video of a professor lecturing online.

The initial MOOCs came from a “process business model” where companies bring inputs together at one end and transform them into a higher-value output for customers at the other end — as with the retail and manufacturing industries.

But over time, an approach where users exchange information from each other similar to Facebook or telecommunications (a “facilitated network model”) will come to dominate online learning. This evolution is especially likely to happen if the traditional degree becomes irrelevant and, as many predict, learning becomes a continuous, on-the-job learning process. Then the need for customization will drive us toward just-in-time mini-courses.”

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