Thursday, January 28, 2016

Smart MOOC Implementation

Smart MOOC Implementation

After starting a new MOOC platform for the MENA region,, we began to explore creative ideas to build on this platform.

The basic use for the MOOC platform is to offer free MOOCs in different specializations. ilmy distinguishes itself by providing original content from the MENA region. This provides some form of cultural diversity to the MOOC offerings online.

The next phase that has mainstreamed now on Edx, Coursera and Udacity is to offer diplomas, specializations or nano-degrees. This phase ilmy is going to offer online diplomas based on MOOCs but catered to the interests in the MENA region. It is going to start with an education diploma and a business management diploma.

Another direction that ilmy started to take is to partner with professional large scale businesses in Egypt to offer professional diplomas. The first diploma offered is going to be in the field of Retail Management. The idea is to provide job seekers with an accessible opportunity to learn the subject matter for the field online and be short-listed for employment in that sector. The basic courses are going to be online and for free. A fee could be paid for a certificate. The partner is also going to offer an advanced on-site segment of the diploma that includes a hands-on experience, field visits and personal interaction. This is going to be another paid segment of the advanced diploma and candidates will receive a physical diploma from the partner. This adds to the learning process, complements the MOOC experience and provides benefit to the partner and the employer.

Similar professional programs can be offered fully online or hybrid as presented above. The plan is to supplement the market with these learning opportunities to make the workforce more flexible and create new employment opportunities. It is also useful to optimize training resources.

The dream project on ilmy is to provide learning resources for underprivileged areas, such as refugee centers or remote less inhabited locations. The idea is to create high quality course material catered for the location using the best resources that covers the 70% of the learning experience. And a facilitator training is also produced along with the course to prepare facilitator to deliver the remaining 30% and help students maximize benefit from the 70%. These courses coupled with smart investment in mobile technology (internet services, tablets or chromebooks) and the physical resources needed for a good learning environment is greatly reduced. Also proper facilitator training aims at reducing the human resources needed for delivering the learning experience. We are very excited about this idea and we hope we can gather the necessary resources for it.

This is a summary of different approaches or implementation strategies for MOOCs to maximize benefit and have a positive social impact.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Welcome to the ilmy blog

Welome to the ilmy blog. This is our first shot at interacting with ilmy learners and people interested in MOOCs and online learning. We, as founders of ilmy inc., realized that learning through MOOCs is a step towards future learning. EDx, Coursera and several other platforms are doing a great job providing high quality courses from credible universities in a new learning environment. They made quality education more accessible to people all over the world. We also realized that most of the courses come from top Universities in the Western hemisphere and some from Asia and Australia. We wanted to expand the interest in MOOCs, either from academic institutions or learners, to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. We believe that academic institutions in this region have distinct contributions and diverse cultural perspectives that will enrich the learning experience of 'global online learning environments'. Therefore, we decided to support and encourage MOOCs development from academic institutions in the MENA region. It is not only an issue of language and translation because most of the top universities in this region offer their education in English or non-native languages. It is still more of a cultural difference, a whole different outlook to learning and implementation. We also decided to carry on this mission to help develop the skills and abilities of instructors and institutions to be able to cope with fast-paced development of online / hybrid learning models. Many instructors and some institutions try to experiment with MOOCs but we are try to bring in that MENA culture in one online learning environment, ilmy.

We are trying to take the first few steps. We will totally be lost without continuous interaction and feedback from day 1. This is why we consider this to be day 1. Feel free to comment, share ideas, give us recommendations, discuss philosophy, pedagogy and/ or your experiences around MOOCs and / or learning in the MENA region.