W00T I’ve Signed Up for a MOOC
I’m excited to announce that i’ve signed up to study ‘Entrepreneurship 101: Who is your customer?’ – a massive open online course (MOOC) administered by edX. For those unfamiliar with edX, it’s a non-profit initiative that allows people to take a number of courses from some of the world’s best universities including MIT, Harvard and Berkeley.
What’s really interesting is that courses are short, online and free. As someone who is committed to lifelong learning, but works full-time and is in the midst of planning a wedding, the course is a great way to learn about an area i’m interested in and do it on my terms. At this moment in time i’m more interested in gaining practical business knowledge, rather than adding to university qualifications (although ‘wasting’ time isn’t necessarily a bad thing).
I firmly believe that education and knowledge, no matter how it is delivered can change lives. And to have the chance to learn, absolutely free of charge is wonderful. In fact, more people need to hear about edX.
The course i’ll be studying lasts six weeks and requires four hours work each week. This bite-sized approach to learning, plus being able to watch lectures around my schedule is really appealing. My lecturer is the esteemed Bill Aulet, managing director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship at MIT as well as a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management – so it promises to be an insightful course and I look forward to sharing what I learn here on SWT.
If you’re unfamiliar with edX here’s a video explaining how it works:
It’s also worth noting the wider discussion around the impact MOOCs will have on the future of education. Although MIT and Harvard talk of using MOOCs to ‘democratise education’, edX is designed to test (a test that i’m pleased to be part of) the feasibility of delivering courses to huge numbers of students who may never step foot in a lecture theatre. This raises lots of questions about quality, technology, assessment and the marketisation of education, which although fascinating, in all truthfulness are beyond the scope of this post.
While it’s too early to say how MOOCs will disrupt the education sector, they are already making people rethink education and question its definition. In an area ripe for innovation this can only be a good thing.