Earlier this spring LUSEM reported on successful global reach for LUSEM’s MOOC on digital business models. It was particularly satisfying to achieve a reach in parts of the world with so far little knowledge of LUSEM, for example in Africa and South America. Recent numbers now show that the course has had somewhat of an unexpected successful reach in India. Some 14 % of the participants are from India, the country with the highest of amount of participants across the world. Furthermore, the same numbers also show an above-average level of participation rate from India compared to an average MOOC.
Success in India
Markus Lahtinen - Digital Learning Coordinator and Lecturer at LUSEM (Lund School of Economics and Management) – comments on the reasons for this success:
“India is obviously a populous country. But also the strong skills in English among IT-professionals surely also plays a part in terms of accessing the course material. However, it also shows that skilled engineers and software developers from India have a need to keep themselves updated on the most recent developments. The Indian presence is also notable in Silicon Valley in the US, being one of the largest foreign professional groups active in that area.”
The typical participant
“As I mentioned in the last report, it has developed as expected. It’s a well-known fact that MOOC-courses lend themselves well to a professional audience that already holds an academic degree. My colleagues and I see the same pattern on this course. The typical participant is a man, holding a master’s degree and working full-time,” Markus says.
“Some further numbers are also worth mentioning. Since the inception of the course back in late December last year, we can now declare more than 2 000 active participants representing approximately 60 % of the world’s nations. We have participants from Greenland and Congo – areas that we don’t directly associate with the digital economy. In Europe – and as expected – we have a strong reach. But as mentioned, the biggest surprise is the impact we have had in India.”
What can we expect in the future?
“I have an ongoing dialogue with LUSEM’s management and currently we are looking into the possibilities of adding an additional MOOC. This upcoming fall, me and my colleagues Andreas Constantinou and Benjamin Weaver will also expand the current course on Digital Business Models. We will enhance the traditional classroom experience by taking a flipped classroom approach. Flipped classroom provides the opportunity for our students to view the content of the lecture before the actual lecture, making room for more high-level discussions among the participants” Markus tells.
On the question about what business models are Markus gives the following description:
“A business model is both a simplification and a summary of how a company generates value for the stakeholders of the company. I don’t want to reduce the value of the business model by using the term simplification, but it is a simplification in the sense that it breaks down a business into its very essence. What sometimes has been referred to as the old or analogue economy, companies and corporations offered goods and services in market where economies of scale was an important goal to stay competitive. Having reached economies of scale, that position could then further be leveraged with other strongpoints like a strong brand, ability to create premium products or ability to engage in M&A activities and strategic alliances.”
“With the digital transformation, the image has somewhat changed. While economies of scale still is important, the global IT brands build their business models around advanced platforms and ecosystems that ties together industries that from an outside point of view seem unconnected. A key actor in this platform economy are developers that create and develop value-added services to digital consumers. Traditional strategy tools don’t consider this advanced level of interaction. Understanding that digital business models are designed – meaning that they were deliberately put in place and are subject to control by the global IT brands – is crucial if you want to understand the rapid growth and position these brands have achieved since commercial inception of the Internet back in the mid-90’s”, Markus concludes.