UoQ’s new MOOCs: will they eat St Lucia’s lunch?

Business leadership courses could be the basis of a cut-price but quality study record

The University of Queensland is expanding its suite of MOOCs, with a four unit micromasters in business leadership, via partner edX. The four subjects can all be taken for free, but for $1500 people who complete them, plus a “capstone assessment” receive a verified certificate.

This is a big move in the development of micromasters, established by MIT and offered in Australia by ANU, University of Adelaide, Curtin and UoQ.

In 2015 MIT announced a self-contained component of its masters in supply-change management as a MOOC. Students who did the course, passed the proctored exam and qualified for MIT entry could use the MOOC for a semester’s credit in the year-long $60 000 on-campus course. (CMM October 9 2015).

The University of Adelaide is moving the MOOC in the same direction. In March it announced an on-line course on big data which can count for credit for 25 per cent of the university’s master of data science (CMM March 7).  And now UoQ’s new leadership MOOCs can count as credit for a quarter of the on-campus masters of business.

This will be a revenue stream in its own right and a great promotion for the full masters – but CMM wonders if UofQ isn’t at risk of eating its own lunch. Add these subjects to finance and management courses from across the MOOC-sphere and people can assemble what will look like a customised business masters with certificates of attainment to demonstrate completion. No, it’s not a conventional MBA, but it’s a bunch of knowledge at a fraction of the price.