Lessons From The CEO Of The First Ever MOOC
I am the president of Metis Strategy, a CIO advisory firm that I founded in 2001. I have advised many of the best chief information officers at multi billion dollar corporations in the United States and abroad. I've written for the Wall Street Journal, CIO Magazine, CIO Insight, Information Week and several other periodicals. I have been the keynote speaker at a host of corporate conferences and universities in the US, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Spain, China, India, and Australia. If one is new to these companies, one might be under the impression that the MOOC phenomenon is less than two years old. That is not the Proviron During Cycle case. The company that many credit as being the first ever MOOC is Advance Learning Interactive Systems ONline, better known as ALISON. Irish American entrepreneur, Mike Feerick founded that company in 2007, and whereas many other companies in this industry are still trying to determine the business models, Feerick has nearly seven years of testing, experimenting, and succeeding behind him. In this interview, Feerick talks about the genesis of the idea, his rationale for focusing on vocational training, and his vision for the future of the company.
(To listen to an extended audio version of this interview, please visit Forum on World Class IT. This is the fourth in the education technology series. To read the prior interviews, please follow this link. To read future interviews with the CEOs of Khan Academy, edX, and FutureLearn among other companies, please click the "Follow" link above.)
Peter High: Mike, as a MOOC pioneer, what was the inspiration behind ALISON?
Mike Feerick: Spreading education more broadly has long been a passion of mine. I worked in a number of internet businesses in the 1990s and "Anaboliset Aineet" also had exposure to philanthropic giving. This experience showed Billig Generisk Cialis me that no amount of money invested in the traditional educational channels would suffice to overcome the problems in the sector. During the Christmas holiday of 2005, I read a book about Google Google, and as I read on, I realized that with the decreasing costs of servers and bandwidth, and the increasing ability to monetize any webpage via the likes Oral Steroids Side Effects In Babies of Google, it would be possible to provide self paced education and skills training online for free on a sustainable basis. Buy Kamagra For MOOCs, once the digital content has been created, the marginal cost to share it is nearly zero.
ALISON started with seven computer literacy courses because it was a very practical field of focus. Prior to launching ALISON we charged for the service, however when we changed our model to free, a curious thing happened: our paying clients wanted to continue to pay as they did not believe that something free could also be of sufficient value! We have changed a lot of minds on that score, and in that sense ALISON has helped open up the market for free education for Masteron E 200 other MOOCS to follow.
PH: How did you come to the conclusion that you wanted to focus on vocational training as opposed to, say, liberal arts courses?
MF: I believe that workplace learning is where the biggest market is and where the biggest impact can be made worldwide. Education at the primary and secondary levels through to associates degrees is quite similar no matter where you are in the world. This content will be commoditized online to a great extent. It will be difficult to compete in this area. The real action is in the workplace which is limitless in its expansion.
Our focus has been on practical content. This goes from topics like typing and learning a language to STEM courses, which have a practical application in the workplace. Leveraging our advantage of the head start we have in this industry, and having a much more international footprint than our competition, we believe we are well positioned.
We have not affiliated with any university because the cost of alignment to a traditionally accredited model is prohibitive and not sustainable for a free learning model. Our content focus is more basic, from degree level downwards, not at PhD level in any case. Furthermore, our "dynamic certification" model, where standards continually change as knowledge and skills expand means traditional accreditation won't work at all. Traditional accreditation is far too expensive, too slow, and reaches far too few people. There is a huge world out there we need to educate and train, and it won't be done via old methods. Corporations now have the opportunity to certify knowledge and training about their own products and services, enabling them to be used much more effectively, and they are engaging this opportunity.
We take pride in the fact that people can get accreditation through ALISON, and they will not be in tremendous debt by the end of the courses they take for the sake of a well known (or not) university stamp of approval. We operate a competency based accreditation system, positioning ourselves with employers to make accreditation accessible to all. A person who claims to have passed a course on ALISON can be tested by an employer in the interview using the ALISON platform on any device, anywhere, anytime, on any subject. It opens up the world of accredited learning to everyone for free. This is an additional source of differentiation.
PH: How do you find content for ALISON?
MF: We are quite selective, but we accept high quality content from almost anyone. We are careful how we curate the content.
ALISON functions as a filter for the content that is online in the vocational space people produce it, we streamline it, telling content creators how to format it, advise them on how to make it more explanative, and the like.
PH: What metrics or key performance indicators do you hold dear?
MF: One of the metrics is completion rate: it is Buy Cialis Switzerland 18% for ALISON, which is higher than most MOOCs because all our learning is self paced. More importantly than that, we look at how people are coming back after spending the first 10 minutes on ALISON. To judge the completion rate from those who initially peruse a course is misleading. They have not yet made a commitment, and we should expect that a number of people will try something, and determine that it is not for them. "Anabolika Definition"