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MOOCs: The Global Employer Perception

Graduate Recruiter October 2014 cover

The Association of Graduate Recruiters(AGR) is an employer-led membership organisation, whose goal is to ensure that all member organisations can recruit and develop the best student talent for their needs and the needs of the UK economy.

With a diverse network of over 700 members, they work closely with employers, the education sector, and supplier partners to represent big employers in the UK.

They invited me to contribute to a special piece on their magazine on the latest IT used in the world of graduate recruitment: Graduate Recruiter. This magazine is published every two months, and is considered as “an essential guide to the latest developments and innovations in graduate recruitment”.The article is published in the October issue of 2014. Here is the original article submit.

You can read the online version of the magazine here. It is on page 22-23. There is a scanned version of the page.

employer page 29-30 MOOCS

According to the latest research from QS, out of 4897 employers 71% said they were not familiar with MOOCS That the QS Global Employer Survey covers nearly 28, 000 employers from 24 major industries within 134 countries the world over, the findings point to a challenging scenario and signal that the growth curve of MOOCS within the mind of industry is yet to occur. More detailed on the survey responses can be obtained by emailing Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit at Christina@qs.com.

The findings further revealed that:

1. On average, currently only 29% (less than 1/3) of employers surveyed are aware of or familiar with MOOCs.

Figure 1: Of all the employers who responded to the question “Are you aware of/ familiar with MOOCs”, more than 2/3 responded negatively.
MOOC figure 1

2. Employers consider MOOCS as a valid form for professional development.

Indeed, here the figures yield more promise in that 82% of the 884 employers surveyed globally view MOOCs to be a valid platform of professional development(Figure 2).

Figure 2: detailed breakdown of different regions of the world where employers consider

MOOCs to be a valid form for professional development.
MOOCs figure 2

3. Most employers would encourage their staff to take MOOCs.

84% of 722 employers surveyed would encourage their staff to take MMOCs. (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Employers who support or encourage staff to take MOOCs

MOOCs figure 3

4. MOOCs completion on a CV is widely considered by employers as a positive factor in recruiting.

As shown in Figure 4, 71% of 875 surveyed employers consider MOOCs completion on a CV as a positive factor in recruiting

Figure 4: Employers who consider MOOCs completion on a CV as a positive factor when recruiting.

MOOCs figure 4

5. Of 887 respondents who answered the question “What are the main areas you would like to see MOOCs developed?” the breakdown was as follows (figure 5):

Figure 5: employers who consider the main areas where they would like to see MOOCs
Developed in line with the needs of respective corporate scenarios:

MOOCs figure 5

Of those selecting ‘other’ – a significant proportion cited areas related to human resources.

earth2

Revealing trends from Google on university-related web searches.

According to a recent BBC news story[1], the Internet giant Google has published its Top 20 most searched universities by Google users worldwide for 2014. The two main trends revealed by this latest list are not only interesting but also thought provoking.

First and foremost, we are witnessing a clear and significant increase in MOOCs popularity. The leading MOOCs providers such as Coursera or edX have been registering online visitors to their websites well above and beyond many traditional and leading institutions such as the University of Cambridge. These platforms, present users with the opportunity to learn and acquire skills and knowledge by reputable institutions while at the same time offer a great deal of flexibility and personal input for each of the users – students. It is certainly not surprising that modern advances in education have made MOOCs popular, reliable and in many cases a preferred alternative to further study overall, especially in times where disposable income for many may be an issue. It also appears that MOOCs and their potential will soon ripen as a field of academic competition and it will be very exciting to see how the top universities in the world will adapt and follow this specific trend.

The second major trend revealed is that Universities no longer rely on the Internet merely for filling in their news feed and sharing important updates, but as the context of educational services becomes even more internationalised and diverse, they begin to adjust their websites for recruiting and attracting international talent. Many of the websites now feature virtual tours, informative videos, advanced graphics and layouts, while more and more departments and schools within the universities are moving to modernise their respective web pages. This is not only due to technological advancements that allow this changes to take place, but it stems primarily by the way we are experiencing and accessing information in the current age, where one institution’s website is in effect its public face.

For more information you can access the full article here.


[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-29240959

qanda

Reimagining Education: Wharton and QS join forces to identify innovation in higher education teaching

By Martin Ince

What does the world’s most innovative higher education teaching look like in 2013? And how can it be brought to a wider student audience?

QS is aiming to answer this question, in collaboration with the Wharton School of Pennsylvania University, one of the world’s best-reputed business schools.

The two organisations are launching a unique competition, Reimagine Education, to find new approaches to teaching that meet the needs of today’s hyper-connected and demanding students.

Jerry Wind, director of the SEI Centre for Advanced Studies in Management at Wharton, is a member of the Academic Advisory Board for the QS World University Rankings, and Reimagining Education was his idea. He says that despite innovations such as MOOCs or the Khan Academy’s bite-sized learning modules, even the most prestigious of universities tend to rely on top-down and traditional approaches to teaching, with too little regard for the learning that might result.

He adds that new approaches to learning are also needed because of the growing diversity of the student body. They can be of almost any age, and their motivations for study might be anywhere on the spectrum from professional advancement to the pure love of knowledge.

Reimagining Education is intended to recognise educators who have thought of new approaches to pedagogy in higher education. We are looking for novel teaching with demonstrable results in terms of improved learning.

The distinguished judging panel for Reimagine Education will award prizes for distance, presence and mixed forms of learning. One of these three will also be the overall winner. There may also be awards, if entries of sufficient merit come in, for the best innovative pedagogy in each of the five faculty areas of the QS rankings: the natural sciences, the social sciences including business, biomedicine, technology and engineering, and the arts and humanities. There may be further prizes too, maybe on a regional basis.

The first Reimagine Education prizes will be awarded at a major conference on innovative pedagogies which we are holding at the Wharton School on December 8-10. Professor Wind intends it to be the first activity of many for spreading new practice in higher education learning.

Full details of the competition, the judges, the judging criteria and the thinking that lies behind the idea are at http://reimagine-education.com. Entries have to be submitted by the end of August. Please do think of entering, and encourage others to do so.

 

 

MOOC

To MOOC or not to MOOC?

By Martin Ince, convenor of the QS Global Academic Advisory Board

Apart from some diehard cynics, everyone seems to agree that MOOCs are going to shake old-school higher education to its foundations. Or failing that, they are going to be a great marketing tool for prominent universities found near the top of the QS Rankings.

So earlier this year, I decided to test the waters by taking a MOOC. Having last been a student some decades ago (apart from the odd recreational evening class), I also reckoned the experience would reintroduce me gently to the world of formal learning.

But how to choose between the thousands of MOOCs on offer? Having written about European science for most of my career, I am now increasingly embroiled in China, so the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology course on Science, Technology and Society in China (Part 1, Basic Concepts), run by Naubahar Sharif, more or less chose itself. It had the advantage that it only took three weeks, so it was no big loss if it was terrible, while also leading into another more detailed course in the autumn. And HKUST is Asia’s top university, according to the QS University Rankings: Asia.

So how was it? Well, high-tech is not the word. The main content, three weekly batches of lectures, involves Sharif talking into a camera and showing some very unflashy PowerPoint. However, his style is good and he knows his stuff.

A worse problem is that the course has been badly misnamed. Week 1’s nine lecture segments did not touch on China except peripherally, being more of a canter round the science studies field (Kuhn, Popper and the like). In week 2, all the content was about China, and things got very interesting. But there was a heavy tilt towards innovation and no mention of any sort of science that does not lead to application. Week 3 was all about innovation, and only one of the seven segments was about China. It was really a course on innovation systems, with an emphasis on China.

However, to point to another much-discussed virtue of MOOCs, there did seem to be a pretty fair mutual support system, with a lot of email chat between students based all over the world, and with highly variable knowledge of English.

I certainly enjoyed rejoining the learning world, and by the end was even answering the quiz questions correctly. This involved relearning the basic principle of reading the question properly before answering it.

I also learned a lot from the marking phase of the MOOC. This involves everyone marking three other students’ assignments for each of the three weeks. Week 1 was about technological lockin, a subject on which I edited a big UK government report a few years ago. The range covered everything from McKinsey-level analyses of this complex issue to folk who had missed the concept completely.

Like other MOOCs, this one is no more than a taster for a real course, but a lot of thought has gone into it and it has clearly excited a lot of bright students.  Will I show up for the next phase this autumn? I don’t quite know, but I have the feeling that I just might.