The benefits of MOOCs is their ability to reach a global audience

Create: 06/07/2016 - 19:18

Michael Koenig, Senior Assistant Dean for Degree Programs, Darden School of Business, University of Virginia

Q. How do you compare MOOCs with conventional mode of teaching and learning, what are the benefits?

The benefits of MOOCs is their ability to reach a global audience and for learners to connect with experts in the field with whom they may not have direct contact otherwise. MOOCs provide an opportunity to learn "on demand,” meaning access to materials is available when and where the learner needs it.

Q. What are the challenges in implementation of MOOCS?

The challenges of implementing MOOCs are connectivity in areas without consistent access to the Internet, making sure your content has global relevance, and without careful design, learner drop-off and lack of engagement is more of a risk than in the face-to-face classroom. Scaling meaningful assessment and quality feedback present additional design challenges.

Q. How do you look at the implementation of MOOCs in India?

At the Darden School of Business, we see implementing MOOCs in India as an opportunity to level the playing field by providing global access to information, including skills-based learning opportunities. We believe our learners in India provide unique perspectives within our courses. As an emerging economy, we value the contributions of our learners in India.  Broad access to MOOCs across India also provides for Darden the opportunity to communicate our brand as a top ranked global business school as well as our commitment to world class teaching and learning, no matter the platform.

Q. Are you planning to MOOCs courses in partnership with Indian universities?

We welcome the opportunity to partner with universities in India.  We have seen that MOOC content is even more powerful when partnerships provide local, regional and national context to the learning.  Partnerships with Indian Universities would further allow for co-branded, blended or hybrid courses, leveraging online content for more customized and contextualized learning and an even higher return on investment for clients and learners.  Our experience to date of blending and contextualizing MOOC content for client engagements has gotten superb response in both the corporate and public sector arenas.

Q.   MOOC courses are seen as a great boon for high school and undergraduate students, how far is it true?

Some MOOCs may be entirely appropriate for high school and undergraduate students. The particular courses we provide are typically designed for learners with a keen interest in business topics.  For most participants in Darden MOOCs, there is an expectation that the learning can be put into practice immediately, providing timely impact on personal performance or the performance of the company or enterprise.  Our business courses are meant to be practitioner based so they are most impactful for professionals who can leverage the learning in the way they approach their day to day professional engagements.

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