Friday, 24 May 2013

Online Learning - College & Corporate Collaboration

In my Start Up Education post I highlight the importance of iterating your way to "Product Market Fit" and I am currently doing this myself as I am assessing a number of different projects and ideas.

This process has involved collating and reflecting on a lot of data and information from a range of different sources.

A number of issues are starting to stand out and/or appear to be recurring issues, areas like MOOCs/online learning, the skills gap and collaborating with employers.

This week I came across an interesting Harvard Business Review article on "What Education Disruption Means for your Company"

I thought that this would be an interesting project that local colleges and employers could work on - collaborating to make sure that MOOCs meet both the colleges and employers needs.

After reading this article I looked into this a little further and I noticed something that I felt was quite interesting. 

While education is looking at Coursera, Edx & Udacity etc, it appears that businesses are using some different tools that could benefit FE.

I am still looking into this but 3 organisations and projects that stood out immediately were;

Get Abstract 
Get Abstract Allows you to search a huge selection of business books and offers a 5 page summary to highlight the key ideas and points for busy managers and executives.

I thought that this was an interesting idea for FE for 2 main reasons;

1) The selection of material could be a cost effective way to compliment the colleges' CPD programme, and provide ideas, case studies and ideas from other sectors in a concise way.

2) There appears to be a mis-match of skills between education and employers, which can be a challenge given the pace of change. I wondered if this resource could play a role in keeping students up to date with what employers are looking for.

Again the concise nature of these summaries could mean that relevant books could complement a lecture but would not take up a huge amount of time.

Leadership Direct
Another organisation that looks interesting is Harvard's "Leadership Direct" programme and for the same reasons as above.

Over 20% of the top 3 jobs in the Fortune 500 are held by Harvard alumni, so what impact would a program like this do for College staffs' leadership skills and personal development? 

What could an initiative like this do to help fill the skills gap for students and develop the relevant "core values" and "soft skills" to make them eminently more employable?

Fusion Universal
Fusion Universal caught my eye because their website stated that they are working with a number of FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies with their online learning needs.

They also have a social enterprise, The Virtual School, and thought that their experience with commerce and education could make them a useful partner in assisting to address the skills gap and help to ensure that any FE online learning resources where as relevant as possible when students enter the workplace.

This research is in the very early stages but I did find it curious that education is using one set of suppliers and employers are using others.

I feel this warrants some further exploration and will be doing so... more information to follow. 

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