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MOOCs will complement high quality learning experience - Business School

06 Aug 2013

The University of Sydney Business School says it will evaluate MOOCs or massive open online courses, in the context of the distinct and rich learning experience that it is already delivering to high quality Australian and international students.

One of the Business School's two Co-Deans, Professor David Grant, said online courses were certain to become an important part of the teaching environment and would complement high quality face to face learning.

"But with enrolments running at record levels, we are currently investing heavily in an enriched learning experience that MOOCs cannot match," said Professor Grant. "This year we have opened a CBD campus, started work on a state of the art Abercrombie Precinct central campus facility and launched a staff recruitment program which is aimed at attracting leading business educators."

Professor Grant's comments follow a report on the future of MOOCs prepared by the University of Sydney's United States Studies Centre. The report, titled 'Disruptive Education: Technology-Enabled Universities', concludes that MOOCs will have an important role to play as a teaching tool.

"Like others in the sector, we will evaluate the benefits that MOOCs will bring to higher education, and different institutions are certain to value them in different ways," Professor Grant said.

"These are early days for MOOCs and their exact place in a balanced tertiary education system is yet to fully crystallise," added the Business School's other Co-Dean Professor Tyrone Carlin.

"MOOCs are destined to become a part of the mix, but we believe that the kind of high quality educational experience currently provided by the Business School, will continue to be in great demand."

Indeed, Professor Carlin said that the demand for entry into the Business School's world class programs has never been higher than it is now.

"Enrolments by quality students wanting an experiential, interactive education are significantly up on previous years," he said. "In order to meet this and future demand, we are investing in state of the art learning spaces and staff."

Earlier this year, the Business School opened a purpose designed campus in the heart of Sydney's CBD for the delivery of its new MBA program and in July started work on a $180 million campus complex in the inner western suburb of Darlington.

"We are also in the midst of a recruitment program that will attract educators with a commitment to experiential teaching and who are able to engage with communities and businesses here and around the world," Professor Carlin concluded.