MOOC’s for the Inquisitive Entrepreneur

There is little doubt that for many students the cost of education can be problematic. With course fees, accommodation and living costs amongst but a few factors to consider, many students will lean heavily on their Student Loans and numerous part time jobs to see themselves through University.

This blog post however will look at some organisations that I absolutely love, and the reason being they offer short specific courses created by Universities often at no cost at all. These courses are often referred to as MOOC’s or Massive Open Online Course for its full title.

What are the benefits of studying a MOOC? Well, there are literally hundreds of topics of which you can study, and entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial behaviours seem to be a very popular area, which is great if you are reading this blog!

The study is all completed online, and many are available for you to access at any time of your choosing. Others follow a more structured path and perhaps set specific tasks to complete on a week by week basis. As stated, MOOC’s tend to be free in terms of accessing the learning materials. Sometimes, if you want a statement of completion or participation of the learning there is a charge for this, however, this is optional if you wish to obtain this or not.

Many of the MOOC’s I have seen and studied are delivered by Universities from the UK and the wider world. This is also advantageous as a learner if studying via a University from outside the UK, its interesting to be able to see subtle differences in the learning and thinking of others. The courses are led by academics from the University provider and in my experience tend to last between 2-16 weeks in duration, study can be anything from around 2-10 hours per week depending on the course materials.

Open access learning has never been more obtainable and readily available for those who choose to engage. From its early ambition of providing ‘taster’ courses for those students looking to explore future learning options, it seems to me the MOOC is now tailored to students who want to further broaden their knowledge from alternative providers. The MOOC allows the inquisitive student to deep further into their specific area of interest. Indeed for non students the MOOC now appears to be an option favoured by employers as an option of CPD training for employees.

If you are studying or teaching Entrepreneurship in University, you can further develop your skills or just find out what is going on elsewhere by looking at some of the following providers and their courses:

FutureLearn

Offers a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life. Click on the image below to access free courses from FutureLearn.

FutureLearn Limited

There are a huge number of entrepreneurial related short courses, programmes and even a Degree ranging from topics such as Measuring Entrepreneurial Impact, Open Innovation and Teaching Entrepreneurial Thinking.

Coursera

100% online learning from the world’s best universities and companies. Over 140 courses from Beginner to Advanced level including Entrepreneurship, Innovation Management, Business Modelling and Product Development.

OpenLearn- Free Learning from the Open University

Several entrepreneurial courses available from Level 1 to Level 3 including Entrepreneurial Behaviours, Liquidity Management and Entrepreneurial Impression.

There are also many paid for providers where you can access quality online Entrepreneurship courses and these are certainly worth exploring, they include:

DisrupTek

DisrupTeK shows you how to grow your idea for a technological innovation into an entrepreneurial opportunity to be proud of.

Udemy

Over 100,000 online video courses with new additions published each month

Edx

Founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012, edX is an online learning destination offering high-quality courses from the world’s best universities and institutions to learners everywhere.

So, there you go, a wide variety of resource available to the entrepreneurially inquisitive student. You may well know of others, if so, please do share.

Can MOOC’s replace traditional learning? In my mind the answer is no, standalone MOOC’s generally don’t provide the user with formal academic credits, so their use in this respect is limited. However a MOOC can be a great way to dig further into topic areas of entrepreneurship education that you enjoy and have interest in. A MOOC isn’t a replacement for traditional study, if this be online or offline, but it can be a useful additional tool to enable you to hear another voice and take on another opinion without eating up the limited student budget.

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