When we first launched our Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) last month focused on networking and IT concepts, we expected to both expand our base of students and get valuable feedback that we could use in our traditional classes. But we never expected so many students around the world to sign up so quickly. MOOCs are supposed to be “massive” by definition, but we expected the ramp up might have been gradual – but we are charging ahead and have been able to accommodate over 550 students interested in our courses.
Our MOOC’s informal learning environment is powered by a combination of flexible on-demand streaming services and integrated social communication (Twitter) to provide students with access to the materials, along with student-to-instructor/student-to-student interactions, at any time. Students can participate in the Enterasys MOOC initiative by visiting u.enterasys.com, and can interact with instructors and other students using the #ETSMOOC hashtag.
Speaking of Students…
One common question we have been hearing is “who is this designed for?” The Enterasys MOOC was designed to provide individuals with a vendor-neutral understanding on fundamental topics. Our students range from our own employees, to our global partners and customers, all the way to university students, some of which have been exposed to Twitter-based social media for the first time due to the nature of our social design. It was also designed to be a new item within an educator’s “tool chest” to assist with connecting to students, not as a replacement for formal education.
Attendance Statistics and Feedback
With over 550 unique students, representing 27 countries, having already attended our first module (Standards and Models) of our Data Networking Fundamentals course, the Enterasys MOOC initiative continues to gain attention on a global basis. Feedback on the modules and overall initiative continue to be positive as well; here are a few student quotes:
@JCSierra117: #ETSMOOC Nice one for @Enterasys @BeReNiZe23 it may interest you 😀
@buzzs125: #ETSMOOC This is a cool way to brush back up on the basics that I have forgotten a little
@almabees: @Enterasys @mikepellerin71 muy satisfecho con el curso. 🙂
@epalacio90: A todos mis colegas les recomiendo #ETSMOOC en http://t.co/HTcKfiZzZb gracias a @thompsonfer por el tip
Below is a word cloud gathered from conversations around our Twitter hashtag #ETSMOOC:
What’s Next for #ETSMOOC?
The Enterasys instructor team is fast at work developing the next round of courses for our MOOC initiative. Topics such as Introduction to Data Center Technologies as well as Introduction to the Internet are on our short list of completion for the fall timeframe. These courses will be added to our already existing course curriculum (Data Networking Fundamentals and Wireless Fundamentals), and be offered simultaneously with existing courses, giving students options for attendance. We are also investigating the potential of integrating with other types of social media as well as rolling out a forum community to track conversations between students.
Most importantly, #ETSMOOC is here to stay! For more information and statistics on MOOCs, check out our infographic here on the trends in adoption of MOOC.