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The Christian Higher Education Innovation Alliance (CHEIA) is a collaboration of leaders to support the global growth of post-secondary education serving the majority world and the poor

Dual Transformation from MOOC’s 1.0 to MOOC’s 2.0

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As many of you know, in the past few years City Vision University has launched three MOOC courses through Udemy as a part of what I (Andrew Sears) call our MOOC 1.0 experiment. Several others on the CHEIA list helped me develop two of the courses: Mike Truong, Amanda Forbes and Jay Gary.
The dominant model we were following in developing these courses was Dual Transformation (see diagram above). Here are some of the lessons I feel like we learned in our MOOC 1.0 experiment.

  • To date we had 13,665 enrollments. Completion rates were low similar to other MOOCs, but I don’t view that as a bad thing.
  • Dual transformation probably is the best model to think about disruption in regulated industries like Higher Education, but the key to get it to work is item C-capabilities link shown above.
  • Essentially, what we did in our experiment was that our Transformation A and Transformation B were essentially misaligned. Our Transformation A focused on City Vision’s core competencies in Nonprofit Management & Addiction Counseling. Our Transformation B focused on a core competency in Innovative Online/Blended Education. The problem was that these were essentially two different markets, so we could not really build much of a capabilities link C between them. Ultimately this meant that the 1.0 MOOCs were not sustainable outside of grant funding because they did not produce a revenue stream.
  • While we did get similar versions of these courses accredited, we actually never launched them because there was not an effective capabilities link.
  • While Udemy was great for boosting numbers (which foundations like), they ultimately own the customer, so we never had email addresses. Ultimately, this severely limited our ability to convert Udemy students into paying students. In addition, Udemy recently pivoted to deprioritize free courses and limit their length to 2 hours of video, which is problematic. 
  • We were ultimately able to fund the development of these courses through grants and just donating our own time. Probably the most significant problem is that the halflife of most courses in 3 to 5 years, so unless there is an ongoing revenue stream, then it will not be financially sustainable to continue to update the courses.

This leads me to announcing our MOOC 2.0 experiment. City Vision University has just launched our City Vision Institute as our MOOC 2.0 experiment. The goal of the City Vision Institute is to provide Free Online Courses for Nonprofit and Ministry Leaders (http://institute.cityvision.edu). Here is what we are doing differently this time based on the lessons we learned:

  • We are running the courses on Learndash in WordPress. This gives us a lot more control and allows us to essentially provide free MOOCs as a form of the freemium business model or content marketing since students provide email addresses in registering.
  • We decided to focus our future courses around the core competencies of City Vision University so our content marketing efforts are attracting the type of people who may one day be students with us.
  • When we do develop new courses or major redesigns of courses, we will identify some where we design them both in our LMS and in Learndash simultaneously.
  • Students from the MOOC can pay $100 to get credit. For this to work with our accreditor, we essentially had to provide all the same assignments in a comprehensive workbook that students can submit to be assessed later. We limit this price to their first course, so we do not undercut our pricing for regular students.
  • Ultimately, the most important part of this experiment is whether the freemium business model is self-sustaining on an ongoing basis. Ultimately, to continue to update courses, we have to be able to pay our cost to do that. While we could try to continue to be grant based, I’m skeptical whether that is viable long-term.

We will keep you all posted on how this next experiment goes.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Resources for Christian Schools Going Online

Get the latest version of this document in this Open Google Doc.

Why Schools are Closing

Online Education Resources & Advice (also applies to k-12)

Teacher Training Resources

Model Campus Responses to Train Faculty & Others

Podcasts & Videos

Technology Resources


Resources from Learning Management System Vendors

Legal Guidance

Resources for Christian K-12 Schools

Resources for Parents of k-12 Schools Closing

Public Health Recommendations for k-12 Schools

Academic Program Development and Accreditation Course

Course Links and Description

This is a project-based course where the finished project will be develop an academic program. In this course you will learn to:

  • Design courses in Udemy (or in an unaccredited organization) for academic credit
  • Design an effective higher education academic degree or certificate program
  • Collect stakeholder feedback and conduct online research of similar programs to determine effective program design
  • Develop program outcomes and an outcome map to courses
  • Develop values integration for those in Christian higher education, ministry, missions agency or churches providing high-quality unaccredited, semi-accredited and non-formal education
  • Apply lean startup principles and agile methods to academic program design to adapt to resource-constrained environments
  • Complete the documentation needed to submit an academic program for review to an accreditor (or design program documentation to support alternative methods to accreditation in contexts where that is needed)

This course builds on our first course Disruptive Innovation in Higher Education in Udemy and iTunes U, which now has had over 5,000 students. That course looked at the disruptive innovation challenge where higher education globally is expanding from 100 million students in 2000 to 263 million by 2025. While that course was focused on vision and strategy, this course is a very practical follow-up. 

Continue reading “Academic Program Development and Accreditation Course”

Instructional Design for Online and Blended Learning Course

Course Links and Description

In this course, you will complete the design of an online or blended course using best practices through the following steps:

  1. Use our template to conduct analysis, research and planning for your course.
  2. Design learning outcomes and use our template to design a course introduction and syllabus to meet accreditation standards.
  3. Design each week of your course using our course blueprint template and use the OSCQR rubric to evaluate your course for best practices.
  4. Design using latest technology, videos and screencasts to improve the engagement of your course.
  5. Develop and publish your course in Canvas (or other system) based on the course blueprint you designed.
  6. For those who come from Christian institutions, you will apply best practices to integrate a Christian worldview into course design.

This course builds on our first course Disruptive Innovation in Higher Education in Udemy and iTunes U, which now has had over 5,000 students. That course looked at the disruptive innovation challenge where higher education globally is expanding from 100 million students in 2000 to 263 million by 2025. While that course was focused on vision and strategy, this course is a very practical follow-up. 

This course will be co-taught by myself and Dr. Michael Truong, who helps train others in instructional design principles at Azusa Pacific University, one of the largest Christian universities in America. We both also serve as co-founders of the Christian Higher Education Innovation Alliance, which sponsored this course.

There are several things that make this course unique compared to other instructional design courses.

  1. First, this course is designed around constructivist learning philosophy so that you will learn instructional design through building a course.
  2. Second, this course will provide very practical creative commons worksheets and templates for you to use and reuse in building your courses. We designed this course so that smaller schools could use this course or the templates we provide as a faculty training program for smaller institutions to equip their faculty to design online and blended courses
  3. Third, this Udemy course has the exact same materials as the accredited Instructional Design course provided by City Vision University, and we are giving it away for free.
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Disruptive Innovation in Christian Higher Education Course

Course Links and Description

This course provides the latest expertly curated materials on this topic by a university president focused on disruptive innovation who spent years developing them. I (Andrew Sears) have tried to curate the “best of the best” of materials in this field including: unbundling universities, unbundling faculty, online education, emerging markets, Base of the Pyramid strategy, Lean Startup for education, Blue Ocean Strategy for education, accreditation, for profits and MOOCs and examining implications for specific markets like faith-based/Christian higher education.

After completing this course, you should be able to:

1) explain how the forces of disruptive innovation are affecting their organization’s context, 
2) apply models such as Lean Startup, Blue Ocean Canvas, Porter’s Five Forces and the Dual Transformation model to their organization’s context, 3) develop a strategy presentation on how their institution should respond to the forces of disruptive innovation using the Dual Transformation model and other models.

The course has had over 5,000 students from 126 different countries.

Course Materials

Lesson 1. Course Introduction

Lesson 2. Disruptive Innovation Theory Applied to Higher Education

Lesson 3. Understanding What’s Driving Change in Traditional Higher Education

Lesson 4. Market Dynamics of Online Education

Lesson 5. Innovative Models for Blending Unaccredited and Accredited Education

Lesson 6. Disruptive Innovation in Christian Higher Education

Lesson 7. Disruptive Innovation and Crossing the Chasm

Lesson 8. Emerging Markets and Bottom of the Pyramid Strategy

Lesson 9. Unbundling and Rebundling Strategies in Higher Education

Lesson 10. Unbundling & the Changing Role of Faculty

Lesson 11. Lean Startup Methodology for Education

Lesson 12. Demographic and Economic Trend Analysis for Higher Education

Lesson 13. Access, the Opportunity Divide & the Race Between Technology and Education

Lesson 14. Industry Case Study and Media Ecology Lessons for Faculty & Higher Education

Lesson 15. Change Agents and Diffusion of Innovation

How to Do Effective Christian Higher Education in an Unbundled World?

Disruptive innovation theory states that while vertically integrated solutions are likely to prove superior in the short-term, unbundled horizontally integrated solutions often dominate in the long-term. Michael Horn discusses the implications of unbundling and rebundling in his Forbes article as I do in my presentation on unbundling and rebundling in my course.  The basic idea is shown in the diagram below.
Here is the question. One of the main strengths of Christian higher education is its integrated nature. Unbundling and rebundling requires modularity which limits some of the ability to integrate all components. How have you used unbundled components in Christian higher education? How much does this modularity limit your ability to do effective Christian education?  What are the major problems that you see?  What are the advantages?  How can we do effective Christian higher education in an unbundled world?

Continue reading “How to Do Effective Christian Higher Education in an Unbundled World?”