Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

MOOCs for 'Generation Distracted'

Like all college classes, massive open online courses (MOOCs) require a commitment to complete. That was an issue for Coursmos, the educational platform designed for “Generation Distracted”, according to its website.

The company reasoned that the time it took students to sit through online lectures that went on for weeks could be why completion rates for MOOCs were so low. Its solution was to develop more than 900 free micro-courses that allow students to learn concepts in short bursts through videos that run no longer than 10 minutes.

“[With Coursmos,] students get specific answers to specific questions,” Maria Davalos, Coursmos customer development manager, told eCampus News. “The courses are made by successful professionals who are practicing this knowledge on a daily basis.”

The company started in October 2013, when it made micro-courses available through iPhone and Android apps. The website was launched in March and includes subjects ranging from cooking to lifestyles, although its main focus is business-related courses.

Students sign up through their Facebook or email accounts and all courses are available to view without registration. Users that do register are offered personalized course recommendations with their accounts.

“We try to make the user interface simple,” Davalos said. “Anybody can get the app and try to create a course with the app.”

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