Saturday, 19 October, 2013

Paper Review: The New Generation of Massive Open Online Course (MOOCS) and Entrepreneurship Education

Welsh, D. H. B., & Dragusin, M. (2013). The New Generation of Massive Open Online Course (MOOCS) and Entrepreneurship Education. Small Business Institute® Journal (SBIJ), 9(1), 50–65.

This study examines the rapid shift and evolution in online education by Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). It describes following benefits of MOOCs:
  • The free xMOOCs can reach a high number of students, including aspiring and established entrepreneurs, all over the world, with no time boundaries.
  • Especially with xMOOCs, students can benefit professionally and personally from free and high quality course content, that follows the same rigorous standards as classroom-based courses.
  • Students can also engage in a free high quality learning experience.
  • Personalization is another dimension of xMOOCs that students notice.
  • Learners have the opportunity to experience the high interactivity of xMOOC format, not only in relation with the computer or smartphone, but also with fellow students.
  • At a more general level, xMOOCs can give unparalleled insights into human learning.
The paper has pointed out following weaknesses of MOOCs:
  • Lack of face-to-face communication, lack of frequent feedback from a professor, or irreplaceable classroom experiences
  • The humanities, social sciences, and business, which require online written work utilizing critical thinking skills, are difficult to assess online.
  • Developing revenue models to make the concept self-sustaining
  • Delivering valuable signifiers of completion such as credentials, badges or acceptance into accreditation
  • authenticating students in a manner to satisfy accrediting institutions or hiring companies that the student’s identify is actually known.
The paper suggests following redesign strategies to low-ranked Universities:
  • Raising awareness among university members toward the impending changes and involving them in the transformation process; encouraging them to sign-up for already existing MOOCs addressing online tools and their effective use; identifying and eliminating organizational cultures that constrain the use of technological innovations.
  • Consistent improvements in the quality of the students’ education experiences on campus by implementing modern, effective teaching practices and by focusing on discussions and debates that enhance students’ creativity
  • Forming partnerships with regional universities to build their own platform, with content that captures local and regional specificity

This is a descriptive research wherein the authors have explored existing literature to describe how entrepreneurship education will get impacted by MOOCs.

This paper provides compilation of pros and cons of MOOCs. Its suggestions for low-ranked Universities are worth pondering over.

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