CBS starts online teaching
By Mikael Koldby
“Leadership in 21st century organizations”, “Social entrepreneurship” and “Consumer neuroscience & neuromarketing” are the first three massive open online courses (MOOCs) that digitally connected people from around the world who are eager to learn can look forward to taking at Copenhagen Business School (CBS). The courses will be provided through the education portal Coursera, which CBS has just signed an agreement with, says CBS President Per Holten-Andersen.
- We’ve joined the collaboration to develop our competences as a university and to test the possibilities of online education in a forum that includes some of the best universities and business schools in the world, he says.
No exam certificates
Coursera is a new initiative that began offering, with US universities, free online courses in 2012. CBS was introduced on the portal in October along with a dozen new partner universities to become part of a group that has now grown to include 107 universities from around the globe. The portal’s mission is is to provide “world-class” education using a combination of lectures and new teaching tools According to Coursera, five million unique users have registered for a course since the first half of 2012. Many people have simply had a look at the new phenomenon, which is why far fewer have actually taken a whole course. None of the courses have certificates yet.
- If it’s possible to create a method of teaching that’s better and more effective, the development of MOOCs represents a potential paradigm shift in traditional teaching as we know it – and with certification, says Per Holten-Andersen, who lists three reasons for the collaboration.
With or without face time
First, it’s a matter of being prepared for new trends; second, the collaboration strengthens CBS’ online teaching and over time will provide better opportunities for blended learning – a combination of online teaching and teaching that includes face time with tutors and fellow students; and, third, online education makes it possible to develop collaboration with other universities, so specialists from CBS can teach students in Australia, for instance.
- Online courses can become a vital component of traditional teaching and can perhaps replace some of the lectures, says Per Holten-Andersen and continues:
- At the same time they can release more time for advising and more practical work, which can become the most important educational contribution from the universities as we know them today.” He believes this development will become reality over the next five to ten years.
CBS will be offering its first three MOOCs in 2014, and they will be available to everyone. The plan is that another two courses will follow shortly afterwards. According to Per Holten-Andersen, the aim is for students at CBS to be able to select the initial online courses as part of their blended learning optional subjects.