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Home Alumni Alumni News SAIT’s first MOOC is now in session

SAIT’s first MOOC is now in session

Success stories from six SAIT alumni-led businesses are front and centre in the Institute’s first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).

Success stories from six SAIT alumni-led businesses are front and centre in the Institute's first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). 

The free elearning course, Business Start-Up: Turn Your Entrepreneurship Dreams into Reality, offers four weeks of valuable content for budding entrepreneurs, while showcasing the journeys of SAIT alumni entrepreneurs, including

Jennifer Carlson (BA '98), Baby Gourmet
Albert Mejia (ACST '10, BA '14), Legal Hustle Clothing
Ryan Scott (BA '01), Avalon Master Builder
Jeff Orr (EMR '00, BXT '02), Tool Shed Brewery
Jason Zaran (BA '82), The Main Dish
John Evans (BA '90), Bumpy's Café

The MOOC was created and is taught by Dr. Vicky Roy, a SAIT School of Business instructor who also holds a Cisco eLearning Chair - an award given to top instructors to research elearning or develop technology innovations in learning at SAIT. Launched on April 17, 2017, the course is open for registration until May 15.

Alumni Connect asked Roy to explain more about MOOCs and their innovative approach to online education.

Q: What is a MOOC?
MOOCs were started by educators who wanted to democratize education by providing courses that are free and accessible online to many people all over the world. MOOCs are available on educational ‘platforms' - such as the Canvas Network - that offer a variety of courses from a variety of universities and colleges.

Q: How do MOOCs work?
MOOCs are open to everyone. You enrol by registering online, in this case through our link at canvas.net . You will receive an email back with links to the course material.
Some MOOCs are open -ended and you can participate at any time. Some, like SAIT's, have beginning and end dates. Even though ours has an end date, you can still register after the start date and work at your own pace. We're limiting our first MOOC to 1,000 participants.

Several MOOCs show instructors at a lectern giving lectures, but ours makes use of more entertaining storytelling. You'll see SAIT alumni describing their businesses, discussing what they've accomplished and explaining various entrepreneurial strategies.

You watch, take quizzes and submit other assignments. You will learn how to make a compelling and engaging two-minute ‘elevator pitch' you can use to show off your business plans to attract investors.
When you complete the requirements, we register that on SAIT's computer and you will receive a badge - which is a link that can be posted on a LinkedIn page. It shows people that you have completed a course and they can see what you have learned.

Q: Why did SAIT create a MOOC?
We were inspired to help Calgarians navigate poor economic conditions. The economy has changed things. Skilled professionals are out of work - and they need new ways to succeed. Participants in my course will learn how to develop and launch a small business. They can take what they already know and get the tools they need to transform that skillset into a viable business.

There is also a big benefit to SAIT because the MOOC is available to people all over the world. I believe the course is a useful marketing tool to inform people about SAIT. It will contribute to our position as a global leader in applied education.

That's also the reason we are telling success stories of SAIT alumni within the course. It shows people how SAIT graduates apply their entrepreneurial skills in the marketplace.
People who take the course will learn about SAIT and may decide to come here to study. We've already had people from Egypt and France register for the course.

Q: What are SAIT's future plans for MOOCs?
We plan to offer this course again in the fall of 2017. We will also measure the success of this course and may possibly develop and offer more MOOCs in the future.

Written by Eric Rosenbaum