Top 3 reasons why MOOCs should play a role in the classroom

The past decade has seen MOOC emerge as a buzzword – much has been discussed about the hype around it, its efficacy, revenue model, academic rigour and so on. But, is MOOC an emerging technology? Hasn’t distance learning been around for a while? How is a MOOC different from erstwhile distance learning? Is it just old wine in a new bottle? What we need to understand is that MOOC is different; it is a pedagogically powerful tool and is structured to mimic the classroom learning as much as possible. In fact, MOOCs can be seen as a means to improve faculty effectiveness and to augment the learning experience in the classroom.

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Professor PD Jose, Professor Ashok Thampy and Professor Subhashish Gupta of IIM Bangalore conducting sessions on Blended MOOCs at the Faculty Development Programme at Chandigarh University.

  1. Reskill and Re-invent Yourself as a 21st Century Teacher: As faculty, why should we talk about MOOCs and why are they relevant? Globalization and technology like MOOCs have removed geographical borders between academicians and students – a student from Chandigarh University, India can learn from a European school; an IIMB teacher can teach learners in Africa and so on. The way forward for an academician to stay relevant is to orchestrate classroom learning experiences by bringing together knowledge from global teachers and take students from global information to contextual insights. Students have access to learning at their finger-tips and therefore, faculty are also faced with the challenge of constantly reskilling and re-inventing themselves.

  2. Understand the 21st Century Digitally Native Learner: If we look at it from the point of view of the learner, the social contract between the student and the teacher has changed; students’ expectations of teachers have also increased. Today’s students are far more digitally savvy and can multi-task, i.e. learn through videos while socially interacting online and being part of a classroom all at once. How do you evolve your classroom to cater to the changing learning and education needs of this 21st century learner? Here are some ways-

  • Understand how and why students learn to help you make informed decisions about curriculum and pedagogy.

  • Shift from ‘passive’ to ‘experimental’ pedagogy to make classroom learning active and application-oriented.

  • Adopt social and peer-to-peer learning methodologies to be where your student is.

  1. Prepare students for the new-age industry requirements: Technology is constantly evolving and jobs are changing rapidly. If you look at the top 20 jobs of 2030 (as per a report by WEF) you will see that you are trying to train students to prepare for jobs – more than 80% of which are new and unheard of today. Can you afford to ‘not change the way you teach?’

Today’s education is moving to a trend of ‘unbundling’ – content, curriculum, faculty and credentials. Today’s faculty and educational institutions should equip themselves to take the best content, blend it into the curriculum, learn from the best global faculty and give credentials that industry will recognize. By adopting the best of digital learning in the traditional classroom, blended MOOCs can become a ‘tradigital’ tool to evolve education to keep pace with learner and industry needs.

The IIMBx MOOCs Programme conducts Faculty Development Programmes on ‘Blending MOOCs in the Classroom’ to open up minds to asking the right questions on MOOCs and to foster adoption of MOOCs into traditional classroom teaching. For more details, visit https://www.iimbx.edu.in/

Note: This post is written to capture key insights shared by PD Jose, Professor of Startegy, and Chairperson – Digital Learning, IIMB, at a Faculty Development Programme conducted at Chandigarh University on 10th July 2017.

Visit @ IIM Bangalore

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