How MOOCs can be efficiently delivering a whole new perception over conventional thought-process became apparent in Santa Clara University’s new initiative to launch a programme on business ethics. The university could easily take one of the traditionally popular subjects or Silicon Valley’s signature computer science as its new initiative. But, the university decided to make an approach through an unconventional theme to see how far their open online approach can strike public attention.
Santa Clara University’s MOOC programme was designed by the university’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, and was aimed at a three-pronged approach to education technology. Apart from the self-motivated learning with the MOOC which is going to continue through the February 2014, the centre is also launching a mobile app and online group discussion to evaluate the course content in a somewhat unconventional manner.
Massage from the Horse’s Mouth
Executive director of Markkula Center Kirk O. Hanson who is also an emeritus professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business took the duty of teaching the MOOC, and overseeing other technological initiatives of the centre. He says, “We don’t have a business model, yet…Just as no one else has one in this space.”
Online education technology has drawn $1 billion capital investment in2012, which engaged many universities to consolidate their online programmes. Monitory return with those programmes, however, is still a tough challenge. Unlike most other MOOCs Santa Clara’s MOOC will provide a free certificate. Its executive director Hanson said that the institution believes a lot on brand-value to do their style of business in the large expansion of higher education market. “It’s important for Santa Clara to demonstrate its expertise in particular areas. We have a very good brand in applied ethics”, says Mr. Hanson.
High Feasibility on Effective MOOCs
His hope with this MOOC programme is quite natural, as Markkula Centre website attracts a great amount of traffic, as large as more than 2 million visitors per year. In addition, Mr. Hanson hopes that thousands of people apart from those visitors will take that programme. What is remarkable is that the pilot version of the course has been experienced by about 500 students, professors and business people from 35 countries, from whom 10% has completed their assignments.
Turn towards Full-time Paid Programmes
After the beginning on a positive note, Santa Clara is looking forward to design a revenue-generating programme, customised version of which can be sold to companies who are seeking training content. The strategy is, however, not new. Most of the MOOCs are launched as sample courses to introduce further paid courses online.
Markkula Centre has the plan to introduce the first of its many mobile apps, which will focus on numerous ethical business decisions based on their own values. As Hanson says, “We’re not imposing our view of what is ethical. It’s giving people the tools…you are considering and evaluate them from an ethical point of view.”
The programmes like these show an ongoing march of online education, and how the new arrival of online learning tools fit around every variety of lifestyles, and every necessity of people irrespective of age, work and qualification. MOOCs are the definite evidences of peoples’ readiness to adopt the easy and effective learning process with minimum use of resources. To the mass awakenings a great lot of online learning programmes with full-fledged certification and career opportunities are being offered by prestigious universities of the world.
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