Beginning fall 2013, the University of Cincinnati will offer a free online course to allow thousands of people around the world access to a university-level class.
The online offering, Innovation and Design Thinking, will be UC’s first foray into MOOCs (Massively Open Online Course), a new higher education trend that aims to attract students interested in ongoing professional development. MOOCs typically use open educational resources and don't offer academic credit or charge tuition.
UC’s MOOC will be unique because students who successfully complete the course and apply to a graduate degree program in the Carl H. Lindner College of Business or the College of Engineering and Applied Science will receive credit for the MOOC that can be applied to a degree in either college. UC will be one of the first schools in the country to offer school credits for completing a MOOC.
B.J. Zirger, associate dean of online education at the Lindner College of Business, says UC is a lead partner in the MOOC2Degree program that seeks to redefine the value of MOOCs in our educational system. MOOC2Degree is an initiative of Academic Partnerships, an academic services provider specializing in converting traditional degree programs into an online format.
“MOOCs of this type will allow students to experience the quality of our faculty and programs before they make an investment as well as lower the overall cost of the degree,” Zirger says.
The two credit hour, seven-week course will be co-developed and led by Drew Boyd, assistant professor-educator of marketing and executive director of the Master of Science in Marketing at the Lindner College of Business, and Jim Tappel, assistant professor-educator at the College of Engineering and Applied Science.
The Innovation and Design Thinking course will explore the various elements associated with how new concepts are created, developed and executed. The lessons learned in the class can be applied to fields ranging from product design and engineering to branding and package design.
Students will learn through video content, readings, discussions and interactive exercises, and receive feedback and complete assessments similar to what’s done in traditional classroom settings.
The MOOC2Degee concept has been a topic of interest in the media, as the Lindner College of Business has been featured in The New York Times, Chronicle of Higher Education and The Cincinnati Enquirer.