My idea is an online platform that offers not MOOCs from the world's best universities along with compulsory short term projects with well-known companies - via remote digital collaboration.
Depending on the subject one is studying, the project would be more along the lines of research, brainstorming, suggesting innovative strategies, perhaps building an app.. or setting up a social media campaign for a new brand, etc.
This will not only allow anyone, anytime, anywhere in the world to get a world-class education in field/s of their choice, but also –
- Learn by doing. Build hands-on experience in the subject.
- Gain valuable experience solving real business challenges for world-class companies. This is even more helpful for young people newly entering the workforce or people looking for a change in career path.
- Collaborate with diverse sets of people from around the world and build valuable company contact and networks in their area of their interest. Break geographical barriers.
- Added incentive to complete the course. Gain a certificate of experience from the company
- Earn while you learn. At least enough to cover the course enrollment / certification fee.
- Companies gain fresh, diverse solutions to their business problems. Often, the 'students' might also be experienced professionals looking to build their skills or make a career change, etc.
So it is a kind of win-win situation for the company and the learner.
Inspiration - I'm a regular MOOC-taker, and I've personally participated in a few online collaborations - including -
- A crowd-vetting collaboration for +Acumen, involving due diligence for a social enterprise, with >200 people around the world, including entrepreneurs,students, executives, academicians, even VCs.
- The Center for Global Enterprise has regular digital collaboration opportunities for everyone - E.g. "Devise a strategy to help the NFL expand its international fan base through its Game Pass digital product.” 20+ participants from around the world conduct research, brainstorm strategies and create a combined report of their work to share with the company. ---No expertise or training is required, but the learning from this would be very relevant to a student of International Marketing, for instance.
- OpenIDEO – what we’re doing right here – except that it would involve actually putting the ideas to action, prototyping, etc - officially, on behalf of IDEO.org
- A team marketing competition in uni for Nissan that involved creating a viral ad campaign on social media for one of their new car models.
- UPDATE: (Kate Rushton shared some excellent links in the comments, to creative crowdsourcing websites like eYeka, Jovoto, etc. where companies post challenges that anyone can participate in. )
My idea is based on the assumption that people might be more likely to pursue the course seriously if it were linked to a tangible incentive at the end.