Friday, February 1, 2013

#EDCMOOC - MOOC Fantasy and...

The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.

The Promise of MOOCs

You know it's important when Thomas Friedman writes about it, and in this case, glowingly:

Nothing has more potential to unlock a billion more brains to solve the world’s biggest problems. And nothing has more potential to enable us to reimagine higher education than the massive open online course, or MOOC, platforms that are being developed by the likes of Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and companies like Coursera and Udacity.... I can see a day soon where you’ll create your own college degree by taking the best online courses from the best professors from around the world — some computing from Stanford, some entrepreneurship from Wharton, some ethics from Brandeis, some literature from Edinburgh — paying only the nominal fee for the certificates of completion. It will change teaching, learning and the pathway to employment. “There is a new world unfolding,” said Reif, “and everyone will have to adapt.”

Fellow Teachers College alumna, Regina Saphier, got me thinking with her blog-post, when she suggested that Coursera courses could be audition platforms for university applicants. Similarly, I thought, why not start a Micro-MOOC(tm) series (60- or 90- minute, or half-, or one-day MOOCs) taught by technical and business superstars at IBM, for example, in Data Analytics, Cloud Computing...and do talent-scouting/recruiting from among the most interestingly participatory attendees?

Like Thomas Friedman and Regina Saphier, I see huge promise, which is already being delivered by MOOCs.



Adam said...

Hi Sarah,
I've also been thinking about micro-MOOCs and have identified a couple of positive aspects:
(1) I think that the large numbers of drop-outs from conventional MOOCs is at least partly due to participants being unable to sustain the effort, maybe because of real-world factors such as illness or work/family committments. So short micro-MOOCs would fit in better with their ability to study.
(2) We have lots of academics at my University who are interested in MOOCs but lack any experience, so a micro-MOOC would be a good learning tool that wouldn't take too much time to develop.
(3) Sometimes, a short focused bit of learning is all I want or need.
The challenge is how to make these micro-MOOCs so that they can be accessed on demand and require no furthe rinput from the busy experts who have provided the content.

Adam Warren
University of Southampton UK

cforte said...

YES! It sounds like you are proposing Massively Open Online Seminars. That would be AMAZING. I would love to see IBM lead the way with this sort of learning opportunity.

IBM has made some ground-breaking corporate contributions to the Linux community, what could it offer in the realm of education?


Sarah Siegel said...

Adam and Christine, thanks for your comments.


Glad to see that you can imagine doing something similar in the academia arena and Christine, thanks for your enthusiastic encouragement. Anything is possible in my experience....