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Reflections on MOOC: Co-Innovation Journey for Startups and Corporates

“It seems MOOC as a format is an excellent way to up-date both the participant’s and the developer’s professional knowledge, skills and competences.”


Katri Heikkinen

Haaga-Helia ammattikorkeakoulu

Published : 09.12.2020

Haaga-Helia was one of the developing partners among seven European consortium members to develop and run a MOOC (massive open online course) called “Co-Innovation Journey for Startups and Corporates”. The Haaga-Helia team was particularly focusing on the team task part of the MOOC.

The MOOC gathered participants globally for a 4-week fast track. Furthermore, the most enthusiastic innovators and learners continued to a 2-week team task; the so-called full track.

The target group included mainly startup entrepreneurs and representatives from corporates. The MOOC attracted also students and other co-innovation enthusiasts. One of the participants among hundreds of participants was a lecturer from Haaga-Helia.

In this blog post two lecturers share some reflections and insights from the following perspectives: being a participant versus being a developer of a MOOC. The focus is especially on the team task part of the MOOC.

The participant’s perspective

What was the “what´s in it for me” factor that attracted a lecturer in higher education to enroll and attend our MOOC on the co-innovation journey for startups and corporates? From my point of view, the course provided contents, ideas, methods, ideas for assessment criteria and tools for own courses. Particularly, the tool co-innovation builder canvas, which was developed for this course has been useful for teaching purposes. The MOOC experience was useful in terms of developing own online implementations in this unusual time.

MOOCs provide excellent platforms to gather new insights and broaden the knowledge base. However, learning should go beyond that. One aspect of joining a MOOC is that lecturers should be continuously curious to experience similar learning journeys that we require from our students. Lecturers should walk the walk as they say.

I think this self-reflection and being in the shoes of a student is very eye-opening. How do I deal with different situations as a student? This helps to up-date the perceptions of studying since studying has changed so much from our times. I think every teacher should have this experience including the team task, something similar what we expect from our students.

The developer’s insights

From the developer´s perspective one of the benefits was the knowledge sharing among versatile experts in the consortium. We learn from the industry partners but likewise we may add value with our knowledge as educational experts.

The lockdowns in different countries started approximately a month before we launched the MOOC. Suddenly there was much more interest and need for complete online implementations. Still our Haaga-Helia team was pleasantly surprised by the high completion rate (58 %) in the team task. It is not self-evident to succeed in creating collaborative learning experiences like team tasks in MOOCs.

One of the characteristic features of MOOCs in general, and also the Co-innovation journey is that participants are from all over the globe. This provides an excellent opportunity to broaden networks and also stay in touch afterwards through professional social media platforms. Co-innovators keep in touch through professional social media channels.

Rewarding which ever side you look from

For a MOOC team task the following principle applies; the more you give, the more you may take out of the experience as a participant. The same applies for the development side. It is complex when people from several countries and representing different types of organizations try to create something completely new. Yet, at the same time, it is a rewarding experience.

To summarize the reflections above, it seems MOOC as a format, especially a MOOC including a team task, is an excellent way to up-date both the participant’s and the developer’s professional knowledge, skills and competences.