Students flood Marquette’s first MOOC

Marquette’s first massive open online course, introduction to applied investing, enrolled 2,603 students as of this weekmore than doubling its original allowance of 1,000 students. The MOOC opened Sept. 23 and is open to anyone in the university. 

David Krause, director of the Applied Investment Management program and professor for the course, said the MOOC has not experienced any technological glitches, has an active discussion board and blog post views which have already reached well above 2,000. Because of all these aspects, he said the course is going better than he imagined when he first decided to create it.

“The course is going extremely well,” Krause said. “I believe the program has exceeded my expectations.”

The course is structured as a four-week survey of investing course. The subjects covered during the course include common stock, bonds, real estate and alternative investments.

“I do think these classes are helpful for students seeking to gain more knowledge about specific topics,” Krause said. “The ages generally span through the entire range.”

Blake Weir, a junior in the College of Business Administration, said he took the class in hopes of helping his personal portfolio.

“This course gives a vivid picture of why to invest in various instruments and basic guidelines to go by when forming a portfolio as well as how to adapt for change in an uncertain world,” Weir said.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison joined Marquette and numerous other schools throughout the country by launching its first MOOC Oct. 3.

In an interview with Wisconsin Public Radio News, Constance Steinkuehler, associate professor at UW-Madison’s School of Education, said she believes MOOCs are part of the “Wisconsin way.”

“The idea of putting this together online in some fashion where someone wanted to go through it voluntarily on their own schedule – that just seems to me like an obvious win,” Steinkuehler said.

Some of the courses UW-Madison will offer include markets with frictions, human evolution: past and future, globalizing higher education and research for the ‘knowledge economy’ and video games and learning. More courses may be offered in the future if these pilot courses go well.

Krause said he first decided to start a MOOC at Marquette when he noticed a trend of students and people in the workforce with the desire for “diverse academic opportunities.”

“I believe that these (courses) do have a valuable role in the future of education,” Krause said. “These will not be the only delivery mechanism, but they do have the ability to alter the higher education landscape.”

Krause added the course is working well for what it was intended.

“This has been a valuable experience for me and hopefully for the students,” Krause said. “I’ve learned a lot about how to create and produce a MOOC.”