I also see this as a capability question. The DNP may have had the money, but they should have recognized that they did not have the capability to hire a fire with the capability to build this platform in such a short time. They should have hired a firm to hire a firm for them. First of all, such a firm does not exist- and secondly, if the firm existed, why did they not have evidence of having built something similarly impressive in the past.
CEO’s or organization leaders have to time digital transformation so that the cost of failure is minimized. In this case, DNP went for a time of maximized cost of failure. Couldn’t this have waited for a few more years until the stakes were not as high?
The last point that I would like to agree with is the lack of a clear protocol on how to pull the plug. When things are going south, many people know it- but it’s never clear who will bell the cat. Without pre-defined ways to respond to failures of different scales, everyone is left to improvise- and people resort to the instinct to fingerpoint, as opposed to building solutions.
Great post. I agree that there is room for multiple players to operate, however, this MOOC model (like many others) does not address the question of trust/credibility of qualifications- and when it does, the economics of scale lead the business to select options that benefit the business at the expense of the students. ‘Peer grading’ is an innovation that you’ve mentioned above- however before peer grading is effective, peer quality/qualification has to be considered. It’s cheaper for a platform like this to have students check each others’ work- however, how does a platform like this ensure that we don’t end up in a situation where the blind are leading the blind? There’s little or no control over which peers can access the platform.
In terms of the ‘weight’ of a digitally acquired learning qualification, it’s hard to imagine employers who think that the rigor of a Stanford online course will be equivalent to a degree from the institutions- thus universities are hesitant to put their logos on these course certificates and users struggle to share them with the market given the limitations in recognition. How do platforms like Coursera think about resolving this challenge to demonstrate meaningful learning?
Thanks so much for your article. While I agree that Swiss watches are likely to be substituted out by technological watches with higher utility, I don’t the solution is for Swiss Watchmakers to create their own smart-watches. To win in the smart-device industry, you need to build the engineering capability to conduct multiple design iterations fast enough to compete with an Apple or Google. Time is not on the Swiss’ side(pun intended)… but in all seriousness, the watchmakers could explore outsourcing the IT of the watch to smart device company, and take a position where they add their brands onto the finished product. The nature of what a Swiss watch is will change, but it does not mean the industry has to die.