Curt Bonk heeft een interessante blog over verschillende type MOOCs. Met de MOOCs die er nu zijn, zie je verschillende doelen, doelgroepen en achterliggende redenen om dit te doen. Hij (samen met Jay Cross) onderscheidt hier verschillende types. Wat hier nog mist is het verdienmodel van een MOOC.
1. Alternative Admissions Systems or Hiring System MOOC: A MOOC (or series of MOOCs) is offered and high scoring or impressive MOOC participants get admissions privileges, job interviews, or points if they later apply for a particular degree program, certificate, internship, or job.
2. Just-in-Time Skills and Competencies MOOC: Like Coursera and Udacity, the course is given to the online masses and paid by a subscription or a membership fee or by advertisements. As a former CPA and corporate controller, I see this as a fairly sound business plan for now; however, more specific details are needed. It is clear that tens of thousands of people are more than willing to sign up for a massive course as a means to sharpen their skills. The revenues could be quite astronomical. Let's hope the learning is too.
3. Theory- or Trend-Driven MOOC: Course discussion or activities focus on an emerging theory, trend(s), hot topic(s), or idea(s) and the MOOC is the ideal platform to showcase such a theory, idea, or trend. Take, for example, the current Change MOOC or connectivist-related ideas and courses from George Siemens and Stephen Downes.
4. Professional Development (PD) (practical) MOOC: People come and select the content that they wish to explore as a means to foster personal retooling, extension, and reflection. In a PD MOOC, there is limited (or no) testing or assessment of some minor little skills; instead, there is extensive sharing of what one has done in the past, what one is presently engaging in, and what one hopes to do next given this course experience. Examples here include the Blackboard/CourseSites MOOC that I just facilitated on "Instructional Ideas and Technology Tools for Online Success" or the MOOC that Ray Schroeder from the University of Illinois at Springfield orchestrated last summer that was called "Online Learning Today...and Tomorrow."
5. Loss Leader (dip toe in water) MOOC: Give away one course in every department or program as a means to attract new students to that major, program, or department. This type of MOOC may become the most pervasive type during the coming 2-3 years and then it could die a quick death. For those in the corporate world, see #13 below which stands to last much longer, but is similar to this idea.
6. Bait and Switch MOOC: Create a fantastic name for the MOOC or description of it and perhaps have celebrities involved in teaching it, but use it as a means to sell a product or to turn the audience on to something else. See also #9 below.
7. Experimental MOOC: Here, the instructor, program, or organization might use a MOOC to test out new concepts, findings, or ideas. In effect, the MOOC is a test-bed for one’s research and ideas. These could be pedagogical test-beds (i.e., testing out different learning technologies and activities) or highly scientific ones or both.
8. Degree or Program Qualifier or System Bottleneck MOOC: If there are early or introductory college courses that students tend to drop or fail, perhaps let high school students take the course prior to college in a MOOC-like format with other high school students from around the country or the planet. New connections could be formed among students heading to college. If there is a common bottleneck or course filter that weeds out too many students, a MOOC might be offered during the summer to let current students complete it in a self-paced fashion.
9. Personality MOOC: MOOC experience is offered with the main goal of meeting some celebrity or expert. Though masked in a specific topic like personal passion or leadership, any content actually learned is an add-on bonus.
10. Name Branding MOOC: MOOC is offered to help push out one’s brand name. This idea overlaps with #5 of the loss leader MOOC, #6 (if celebrities are used), and #9, and perhaps every other idea listed here. This one may smell familiar to many people.
11. Goodwill MOOC: MOOC is offered as part of a mission to help educate the people of this planet. In effect, instead of "giving the world a Coke," educational opportunities are offered. Many non-profit entities and foundations have significant Web presence today and offer myriad online resources (e.g., Seeds of Empowerment, iEARN, Impossible2Possible, etc.). A Goodwill MOOC might extend that. In a way, this is what many people initially envisioned when the OpenCourseWare (OCW) movement arrived over a decade ago with announcements from MIT, Yale, and others.
12. Interdisciplinary MOOC: MOOC has a series of panelists or guest experts from around the world (or from different departments at the same university or company) presenting content from disparate yet somehow related disciplines. Creativity and innovation will be targeted in such a MOOC. Participants enrolled in them might envision new degree programs or college majors, start-up businesses or new ventures, life goals and opportunities, personal quests, etc.
13. Recruiting MOOC: Covers a skill in demand, say, advanced Python programming. Companies in need, pay for names/contact information of high performers. Set up specifically for recruiting, not recruiting as by-product. This is similar to idea #1 mentioned above.
14. Marketing MOOC: Jay noted that he had just talked with a company that helps middle managers improve their practice by providing content which becomes the catalyst for discussions among small groups of managers. To buy the idea, people in the company have to believe in self-directed learning. A MOOC on management development and/or informal learning would attract potential customers. I must add to Jay's point by saying that there will likely be myriad other types of marketing MOOCs that unfold in the coming years; this is just one example.
15. Conference MOOC: Jay also suggested that as an adjunct to a professional conference, one might document the back channel, share the content, facilitate discussion, and so forth. A MOOC could help stretch out the conference from a short-term event to a lasting process.
16. Learning Room MOOC: A friend of Jay's makes and markets virtual conversation software; sort of an easy-to-use, Second Life type of tool for business types. One thing that his customers love is having a persistent space online with posters on the wall, presentations at the ready, and the opportunity to just drop by. A MOOC could fill the same role. Different topics could be cycled through. Events here could include discussions of TED talks, debates of current events, or courses on social media marketing.
17. Religious Revival MOOC: Some MOOCs will undoubtedly meet with extreme success. When they do, learning communities will form, and, with that, new friendships, social networks, and personal as well as professonal relationships. There will be extensive amounts of socially shared history and stories of personal as well as group success resulting from such experiences. And like eating yummy Godiva dark chocolates, people will crave more such experiences. They will look forward to the next time it is offered or something akin to it is announced. It will be a revival of sorts...a MOOC sought after with religious fervor. Remember the online course that Oprah Winfrey and Eckhart Tolle offered to some 2 million people a few years ago with spiritual and religious undertones? Now think 5 or 10 times that and even that might be too conservative an estimate for the highly successful MOOCs.
18. Rotating MOOC: Some MOOCs might rotate topics between a set of introductory topics within a program, department, or discipline. Alternatively, the rotation might be between institutions or oganizations that offer them. For instance, one year, the core expertise might be at the University of Iowa and then next year it might come from the University of Central Florida, and so on, depending on where the strong programs are housed. Or it might rotate between experts in North America, South America, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia-New Zealand. Those in corporate settings might see the MOOC leadership or organizers rotate between different branch offices or headquarters.
19. Repeatable MOOC: As with rotating MOOCs, repeatable MOOCs might be of at least two types. For instance, the MOOC might be repeatedly offered and prior participants might be allowed to take it again and again and receive a badge or some other type of signature recognition since the content is constantly changing. Another type of repeatable MOOC is one that is offered every so often (perhaps each month or every other month) with basically the same set of content, structure, and goals. Once such a course is created, it is highly cost effective; especially if technology/machine-based assessment is employed, instead of human assessment. See idea #2 above for companies offering repeatable MOOCs already.
20. Reusable MOOC: As I noted in my blog post yesterday, the course that I just completed for Blackboard/CourseSites people is a type of reusble MOOC. All of the content has been preserved, including all of the weekly synchronous sessions that we held. While we had some 3,500 people initially, enrollment has now climbed to over 4,000 people as the registration stayed free and open during the course and will remain so long after. Anyone can reuse or repurpose that content. In effect, the MOOC remains open for future students (i.e., you) to go in and learn and perhaps earn a badge or whatever. Good luck.
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