Has Harvard or MIT always been your dream? Well guess what? Now you can recieve world class education from the top-ranked American University free of charge. The catch? An internet connection. The world of knowledge and that too from the world’s most prestigious institutes has become open to all with these Massively open online courses, or Moocs.
It turns out Harvard and MIT are working on a partnership called EdX, which, according to its website, “will collaborate to enhance campus-based teaching and learning and build a global community of online learners.” And not just Harvard, even Stanford, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania and the University of California at Berkeley offer MOOCs.
Even though the free online courses do not offer a degree, they do offer certificate of completion with an effective grading system, e-text books, student-to student-communication and virtual laboratories too. So what does this mean for Indian b-schools?
Arun Pereira, faculty member at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, argues in the Economic Times: “Given that MOOCs are free, available in the comfort of the executive’s home, and provide the ability to interact with a world-renowned expert, business schools may need to rethink their MDP ( Management Development Programme) model. This means Indian institutes will have to provide new value-added features, focusing on features outside course content and delivery so that high priced MDPs can compete successfully with the free MOOC option.
Most b-schools in India subsidise their Management programmes, i.e. PGP or MBA courses by charging a premium rate for Executive Education courses. This might hit that line of revenue.
On the other hand, Indian institutes that suffer from lack of sufficient faculty can use Moocs to their advantage by allowing students to complete a course or two from a pre-determined set of MOOCs.