IRISHMAN Mike Feerick likes to stir things up, writes Andrew Trounson in The Australian. He was running the world’s first massive open online courses before the MOOC acronym was born.
And, unlike most MOOCs, his free online education site ALISON is making money.
But an even bigger disruptive force is on the way.
Feerick calls it crowd-sourced accreditation and says it will pose a threat to vested interests among established educational institutions, where accreditation has long been seen as the ace in the hand.
Last week, Feerick asked an ADC Forum of education executives and entrepreneurs what they would trust more when picking a hotel: being a member of the local hoteliers federation or having high scores on TripAdvisor? The room went for TripAdvisor and Feerick had his gotcha! moment. If credibility is based on market feedback, then formal accreditation could face a challenge.
“This tidal wave of crowd-sourced accreditation is coming to education,” Feerick says, noting ALISON offers certificates and diplomas backed by no one but the ability of its students.
To get a third-party institution to accredit the ALISON courses would have cost students money.
“You need to be able to make accreditation free if you are really going to revolutionise learning,” Feerick says,
His solution to the complex issue of credibility is to put his trust in his graduates and allow potential employers to give them an ALISON online test in the interview room.
It works because ALISON focuses on fact-based courses in business, accounting, languages, childcare and mental health where people learn about laws, best practice and theory.
Read the full article from The Australian here.
ALISON in Media
Sunday Business Post Building on education's location indifference - Nov 2013
Irish Times He'd Like to Teach the World - for Free - Nov 2013
BBC The Next Big Education Player? - October 2013
EURONEWS EURONEWS visits ALISON HQ - Talks to Learners – Oct 2013
Global Youth Economic Opportunities Conference Refining Education for the Next Generation – Sept 2013
The Economist Army of Free Online Resources Threaten Higher Education - The Economist - July 2013
Edxusgroup.com ALISON named one of Europe's most innovative E-Learning Companies - June 2013
Harvard University Bulletin Training the Global Workforce, Gratis - June 2013
InformationWeek.com Early MOOC takes a different path - Information Week - Jan 2013
New York Times Open Education for a Global Economy - New York Times - July 2012
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