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Executive education ala MOOC

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Executive education ala MOOC

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Back in February I wrote about the launch of a new MOOC platform designed purely for executives.  The platform, known as Forum Academy, was launched by the World Economic Forum to bring some of the wonder of MOOCs to how leaders learn.  Unlike the hugely popular MOOC platforms that have made waves thus far, Forum Academy would not be free to all.

Jeremy Jurgens, managing director at the WEF, remains bullish towards the approach taken by Forum Academy.  In an article on Business World he outlines the reasons why he thinks executive education is ripe for disruption and the various ways that traditional educational approaches are failing our executives.

He breaks his hypothesis into three main areas:

    1. Learning from the best – This is a simple issue of scale and reach.  Jurgens suggests that executives would much prefer to learn from the biggest and brightest names in the field rather than the less prestigious professors at their local institutions.

Just in time learning –

      MOOCs also provide a much more flexible approach to learning than more traditional approaches.  In an age when the emphasis is very much on incorporating learning as a continuous and lifelong endeavour into our daily work lives, this is seen as a major advantage.  This is something I’ve written about previously in the various articles on finding work we love and are passionate about to thus tap into this intrinsic desire to learn and improve.

Flexible learning at its finest –

      Jurgens also highlights the possibilities for mixing and combining education ala MOOC in all manner of ways to best suit the learner and their particular circumstances, rather than employing the more industrial

make and sell

    approach common in traditional education.

Of course, one area that isn’t included much in this rallying call is the social aspect of learning.  The aforementioned things still very much require professors to produce the content, and for learners to then consume it.  There is little inclusion in Jurgens argument for social and tacit learning, which seems something of an oversight given the huge role this plays in how we learn.

That isn’t to say of course that WEF and Forum Academy won’t make a sizeable dent in the executive education market, but I suspect that they will not be quite as revolutionary as they think they will be.

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