Can 50+20 leverage the potential reach of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to provide alternative perspectives on the role of business and leadership in serving society? We think so — and a small group of GRLI partners are already scoping such a project.
The emerging model of offering Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) could pose a major threat to traditional model of management education with some estimating that up to 60% of traditional teaching could be disrupted or in part replace by MOOC offerings (FT.com Soapbox 30 June). Early adopters of online learning platforms will however find a limited choice of material and courses focused on the broad topic of “Sustainability, Ethics and Responsibility in Business and Leadership”.
In July 2013 a search for “Sustainability” on Class Central (a MOOC aggregator of courses offered via Coursera, Udacity, edX, Venture Lab, & others) yielded a mere 4 courses in progress and 2 planned for future dates on the topic of Sustainability. Of those hardly any were offered in the context of Business, Economic or Management sciences.
Some universities are developing their own solutions using custom-built or out-of-the-box platforms. One notable example is the “ThinkTank — Ideal City” project of Leuhphana’s Digital School (http://digital.leuphana.de/) that was built on candena Scholar — a white-label and scalable social education platform (http://candena.com/).
There are also examples of doctoral seminars and modules hosted with online course management systems of private or public institutions that are open for public participation on a small scale. One such case is the MIT Sloan school’s doctoral seminar in Corporate Sustainability: http://stellar.mit.edu/S/course/15/sp13/15.S67/index.html.
Then there are foundations and organisations not formally recognised as institutions of higher learning that develop and offer online courses. For example the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circular Economy MOOC: http://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/higher_education/global_campus/courses/moocs/emf-mooc
A small group of GRLI partners are already in the process of scoping such a pilot MOOC. The MOOC will be developed and offered jointly (by 3 or more institutions in partnership) via an existing provider (e.g. Coursera) with 50+20/GRLI as the convener. The objective is to provide an introductory and overview course probably at Masters-level or senior undergraduate level building on existing material and capabilities of partnering institutions. All funding partners will be recognised as co-authors to the course.
If you are interested in supporting this initiative contact 50+20 and quote MOOC in the subject line.