Why the future is all about the ‘Knowledge Cloud’ platform

EdCast teams up with MSU to provide more learner-centric platforms for deeper engagement

MSU’s new Food Knowledge Cloud. Credit: MSU

Imagine an online platform for your free MOOCs…and for all paid, credited online courses; plus webinars and research; combined with cloud, mobile, and social network access; all with the ability for peer collaboration and multiple pedagogies.

Well, Michigan State University (MSU) imagined just this–and EdCast delivered.

In May and November 2013, MSU Professor John Spink led a “Food Fraud” program that examined using food for economic gain. The program was so successful that it had 2,000 participants with close to an 80 percent completion rate, according to Christine Geith, assistant provost and executive director of MSU Global, an innovation and strategy unit in the Office of the Provost that assists faculty in creating, facilitating and implementing projects.

MSU has since partnered with EdCast to expand on the growing popularity of food-related MOOCs.  “We aim to build with partners a whole set of learning experiences—all non-credit to begin with—to share the information about food systems,” says Geith.

So why did MSU choose EdCast for their MOOC platform as opposed to edX, Coursera or Udacity?

Geith says MSU experimented with other platforms like Udacity with Food Fraud and other food industry courses. Yet, the University “learned that our strategy for MOOCs is best integrated in strategic content areas where we have a lot of expertise, which happens to be in food.”

And according to EdCast and MSU, focusing on strategic content areas in a community-centric, online cloud platform is the way of the future for higher-ed innovators.

(Next page: How EdCast aims to achieve deeper student engagement)

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