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MOOC Specialization on Stategy and Organization Design attracts 600,000 participants

23 Jan 2017 9:11 PM | Michelle Buss (Administrator)

ODC member Prof. Dr. Tobias Kretschmer from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München shares his experience with his Massive Open Online Course.

On 9th January, 2017, the Institute for Strategy, Technology and Organization at the Munich School of Management launched a new specialization “Competitive Strategy and Organization Design”. Instead of traditional classroom teaching Prof. Dr. Tobias Kretschmer and his team decided to offer the three courses of the specialization as video-based Massive Open Online Couses, so called MOOCs. The courses are distributed in partnership with Coursera, an online platform that provides universal access to education.

Since the launch of the first course, about 600,000 participants have signed up for the courses, so MOOCs seem to be a very effective way to share knowledge about organization design and strategy.

“MOOCs are a completely different distribution channel compared to a typical university course. We can reach a completely different audience with it, so in a sense we are looking at a textbook case of economies of scope,” tells Prof. Dr. Kretschmer.

“On the production side, we changed things around a bit – you cannot design a MOOC thinking you will be in front of a camera that simply records your lecture, so it was also instructive from a pedagogical point of view.

However, one of the key factors in the decision to do a MOOC was that it was something new and explorative, which I found exciting."

600,000 participants is very impressive. What kind of students did the course attract?

“Anyone really. We have not done a systematic analysis of who takes part, but we have had high school students form rural US, entrepreneurs from Tanzania, FTSE C-level executives, MBA students – the lot really.”

What did the participants pay for the course?

Coursera’s current business model is that participants pay a monthly subscription fee (45€) until they complete the specialization. The revenue is shared between Coursera and the University.

“However, I was less motivated by the financial potential of offering MOOCs. At the time of doing my first MOOC, there wasn’t even a business model. More important to me was, the opportunity to reach a wider and different audience.

What is your overall experience with MOOCs?

“I really enjoyed doing the MOOC, but it was also a lot of work. Think one full day per session pure recording time, plus preparation (you need to redo the slides) plus another day or cutting and producing. If you want to have quizzes, you have to design them too. If your institution supports you and/or rewards it, it is certainly a fun and satisfying activity. Not sure if I would recommend it pre-tenure though…” says Prof. Dr. Kretschmer.

Prof. Dr. Kretschmer will be happy to answer questions on the MOOC production process from interested members of the community.

See the course here
See the specialization here
Prof. Dr. Tobias Kretschmer


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