Twenty-thousand students all over the world enrolled in Managing Fashion and Luxury Companies, the second Bocconi MOOC, with the participation of SDA Bocconi School of Management.
Just search for #mafash14 on Twitter to find out more: Bocconi takes a step forward in the world of massive open online courses (MOOCs). Last June, the University and its teaching and innovation lab BETA published the Financing and Investing in Infrastructure course on the Coursera platform. It was a success, with a retention rate higher than average for an online education website. Now SDA Bocconi School of Management has come on board and a new MOOC has been launched: Managing Fashion and Luxury Companies (#mafash14 on Twitter), held by Erica Corbellini and Stefania Saviolo, which began 3 October. It’s the first fashion course ever hosted by Coursera and it can be attended for free by anyone, regardless of age, gender, class, and level of education. So far 20,000 people living in 157 different countries have enrolled. Most of them (18%) are from the U.S., 53% are female, and 44% are aged 20-29. They’re going to follow online lectures for five weeks, discuss the lessons’ content on a forum, work three or four hours a week, pass multiple-choice test, face peer-to-peer valuation, and finally earn a certificate.
The lecture videos, in English with English subtitles, are the core of the MOOC. «It’s been a challenge», says Stefania Saviolo, head of the Luxury and Fashion Knowledge Center at SDA Bocconi. «Before filming we had to revise our academic objectives. The attention of the online viewers decreases after five minutes. We had to retain it by being focused, accurate, and concise. We chose case-studies familiar to people from all over the world». A MOOC is not your average e-learning program. Students will answer questions and polls in real-time, and interact with teachers and with each other. Knowledge is shared throughdiscussions and Saviolo expects students to contribute actively during the course. There’s also an ethical side to it. «We share contents with people all over the world. Many of them cannot afford to attend a top ranking university. It’s revolutionary, isn’t?».
The course aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the global fashion and luxury business. «It’s meant for everyone who’s interested in fashion as a business: managers, Economics and Fashion students, consumers», says Erica Corbellini, Director of the Master in Fashion, Experience & Design Management. Thinking of fashion as just craftsmanship is diminishing. Students will learn that fashion has a cogent business logic and will discover that its brands are trailblazers in the new media and social networks arena. The course has also an implicit message: «The University gives you the keys to understand the world. And if you understand it, you will rule it and not be ruled». The experience has inspired blended learning practices: Corbellini will show MOOC videos to her students. «Furthermore, MOOC has made me a better teacher».