I’m sure you’ve heard about MOOCs over the past 2 months.
MOOCs are the latest and hottest things in the world of higher education. And, there hasn’t been a single day this summer without an article, a post or a tweet about the Massive Open Online Courses offered by Coursera, EDx, Udacity or others.
I first tried to take part in a MOOC on online learning today & tomorrow, the eduMOOC put together by an experienced team of professors, last year. With more than 2600 registered participants, I felt overwhelmed right away and dropped out very quickly lost in the sea of content, forum discussions and, well, my other duties at work.
I registered for another one on Technology Entrepreneurship offered by Stanford last January — and actually never found the time to take part in the class as the start was postponed to March. Then, I did manage to go through most of the course materials on a third MOOC on online teaching offered by… Blackboard last April, but again felt totally at lost when it was time to engage with classmates in meaningful discussions – just too many people and too much content which made it very difficult to follow anything. Now, I’m going to try a 4th MOOC starting next week, a course on gamification this time offered by Coursera.
But, so far, I’m not a huge fan of the format per se. While it’s true that you can’t beat the price, I’m not convinced of the return on… time invested for this kind of format ;-)
While the world (especially media) would like us to believe that MOOCs are the future of learning or even online learning, I strongly believe that our SOOCs are a better response to the professional development needs of higher ed pros (and, yes, I’m biaised since Higher Ed Experts offers this type of courses, but bear with me for a sec).
So, what are these SOOCs (that is besides a silly catch phrase idea I just got ;0))?
SOOC = Small Organized Online CoursesHigher Ed Experts launched its first SOOC (we’re still working on our souk project ;0) in September 2011: a 4-week online course on Web Analytics for Higher Ed where students, all professionals working in universities or colleges around the world, learned how to use web analytics to inform marketing decisions from course materials and a dedicated instructor by… creating goals, segments and even a dashboard while having weekly class discussions with no more than 9 classmates.
Yep, 10 students per session, all working in higher ed institutions, a golden number that results in meaningful, manageable exchanges and happy students as shown by their testimonials.
In early 2012 we added 2 more of these SOOCs:
- the 4-week online course on Responsive Web Design for Higher Ed, taught by Stewart Foss from eduStyle
- the 8-week online course on Social Media Marketing Campaigns for Higher Ed I teach and adapted from the graduate course I developed for the MBA program in social media marketing at SNHU
We are going to launch next month a brand new 4-week online course on Writing for the Web and Social Media in Higher Ed, taught by Mike Powers who also works at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
The students currently completing the summer session of my course on social media marketing campaigns received the online evaluation form about the course 2 days ago. Below are ALL the testimonials that have been submitted so far:
Lindsey Heffern, Shared Media Manager at the University of Minnesota (MN)
“I would highly recommend taking Higher Ed Expert’s 8-week Social Media Campaigns course. This structured program offers lots (many!) of resources during the eight weeks–each week focusing on a different topic areas–that were valuable and trustworthy. I have spent hours searching the Internet and reading marketing and higher ed blogs trying to find information and social media best practices like the ones provided in this course. It’s exciting that I now have all the tools I need to do my job well.”
Laura Rigby, E-Marketing Officer at The University of New South Wales (Australia)
“This course is a fantastic introduction to social media for anyone working in the higher education sector. The assignments are interactive and interesting, and force you to apply the knowledge gained from the week to your assignment. It also gives you access to articles about social media use in the higher education space that would be otherwise difficult to find. These are a great resource for future reference. The instructor is dedicated and open to new ideas. She never criticises, but offers constructive advice. I’d recommend this course to anyone interested in improving their abilities in social media marketing.”
Amy Michelin, Social Media and Content Strategist at Farmingdale State College (NY)
“I highly recommend this class. It has opened my eyes and inspired me to take a whole new approach to my institution’s social media efforts. I have already seen “measured” improvement in the College’s campaigns.”
Ross Shaw, Online Marketing Manager at James Cook University (Australia)
“I’d certainly recommend this course, even if you’ve been working in higher ed online for many years like I have. You’ll be surprised what you don’t know, but also what you do know, but didn’t know how to articulate.”
Our 173 and counting students have told us our courses helped them get offered interesting new projects at work, promoted at their institution and sometimes even hired at another one. More and more students have started to add their Higher Ed Experts certificates (that you get only if you maintain a GPA above 80%) on their LinkedIn profiles.
More than 100 institutions of higher education recognize and value our professional development courses.
I don’t know if there will be a MOOC in your future, but you should definitely check out Higher Ed Experts online courses.
Class starts on September 17, but unlike MOOCs places are limited, so don’t delay too much if you’re planning to learn more, earn a certificate and move up this fall ;-)