CMU counters MOOCs with tech startups - CTTEC - Carnegie Mellon University

Thursday, November 14, 2013

CMU counters MOOCs with tech startups

Many universities are embracing the idea of incorporating massively open online courses, better known as MOOCs. Mark S. Kamlet, provost and executive vice president of Carnegie Mellon University, said for institutions like his the question is: "What do we do?"

Speaking at the LaunchCMU event Wednesday, Kamlet said there is tremendous opportunity for the university to take advantage of "the business of their business."

While he said CMU has nothing against MOOCs, the university's focus is not so much on how to transmit knowledge, but rather how students learn.

"Technology is going to disrupt our industry of higher education, just as we have seen it cause major disruptions in others," he said.

CMU is shifting the model using its own approach, with organizations like Carnegie Innovations LLC. Since the fall, CMU has built a portfolio of five companies under the Carnegie Innovations umbrella.

  • Acrobatiq LLC, an open learning initiative, which offers customizable courseware, learning analytics and consulting services to educational institutions looking to improve learning outcomes for students;
  • Acatar LLC, a distance learning platform;
  • Panopto LLC, a video recording and transmission technology for enterprise video content management;
  • Cleamodel LLC, an organization dedicated to the cultivation and commercialization of best-practice and model-based improvements;
  • iCarnegie LLC, which was created in the late '90s to work with government, organizations, and businesses to tailor curricula to meet workforce development challenges.

Each functions as its own venture-like startup, but with 100 percent of voting controlled by the university. CMU has put up the capital to start each subsidiary and retains over a 90 percent stake of equity in each. Because of the university's nonprofit status, all of the remaining profits go back to the university's mission to fund education and research.

Article courtesy of Pittsburgh Business Times