The impact of open online courses will be similiar to what the internet did for the spread of information across the globe.
The impact of MOOCs on management education today.
There is a lot of buzz around Massive Online Open Courses ( MOOCs) these days. When Ivy League colleges like Harvard and the MITs, traditionally considered elitist institutions, have opened up their curriculums for mass consumption, that too free of cost, there is bound to be some commotion in the market place. During a recent conference on transferring Indian education through MOOCs, MM Pant and Marmar Mukhopadhyay called upon policy makers to support the spread of MOOCs and educators to enable technology enabled education in a major way.
MOOCs could potentially change the world of education. When small and big modules become freely available to the masses in a sector which is supply driven the changes would be akin to what was witnessed in the recent past in many sectors. MOOCs have the potential to do for the education sector what liberalisation did for the Indian economy in the 90s, what the internet did for the spread of information across the globe, what consumer forums did to service providers, what Wikipedia did to knowledge and what Napster did to music. The thread that weaves all these disparate domains together is that they were forced towards complete change due to emerging technology. The control moved from government, organisation and producer to markets and masses; what could once only be accessed by a privileged few became the right of all and the game changed from limited access to competence raising the bar for everyone.
So it would be interesting to ask educators who may be about to lose control: Is it time to rejoice or rebel? To celebrate or mourn? Well it is an individual call because no matter what the educator chooses a revolution is wait- ing in the wings; change is bound to happen. Whether educators choose to lead the change or follow willy- nilly is a choice only they can make.
An increase in the number of students opting for online learning without the desire to earn a degree or a certificate will open several avenues of opportunity. For example, a tenured professor teaching say 100 students for 30 years, ends up influencing 3,000 students but one viral video can allow him/ her influence 30,000 students at once. The kind of equity one could build for oneself and one’s institute in just a short period of time will be of great value. For teachers today there could be no better time than now to showcase your lectures through state- of- the- art videos supported perhaps by animation. It’s time to switch to blended classrooms where you can add quality material from the MOOCs to enable more creative and enriched discussions. It’s time to be a rockstar teacher.
Students at Management Development Institute, Gurgaon