New Dean of the Seidenberg School Dr. Amar Gupta has started of his tenure at the school on an innovating foot teaching the University’s first ever MOOC class. MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course and refers to the current trend of online courses being offered to students both within and outside the University.
Dr. Gupta’s course is entitled “International Technology Services in the Knowledge Economy” and is being done through the website Udemy.com The main focus of the course is the 24-Hour Knowledge Factory model that Dr. Gupta pioneered and perfected during his time at University of Arizona and MIT. The model envisions that a professional in the US will work the usual work day of 9 am to 5 pm and then transfer his work to a colleague in China or Australia at the end of his work day. His colleagues will work their local 9 to 5 and then transfer the work to someone in Eastern Europe at the end of their work day so they too can work their 9 to 5 and transfer the work back to the American at the end of the day. This system allows for projects to be finished in the same amount of work hours but in a much quicker calendar time frame.
Students, alumni and professionals with backgrounds in information technology are encouraged to study the new technical concepts that will foster the 24-hour collaboration mentioned above. Other students will be encouraged to study the economic, business, legal, political, and other aspects of such knowledge-oriented frameworks based on the student’s interest and background.
The course is a great experience for anyone interested in the future of the global economy and how it responds to changes into a knowledge based economy and also a geographically delocalized economy. Anyone can sign up for the class on Udemy.com and current Pace students may qualify to received credits for the class.
The course is split up into four main lectures with a number of supplementary materials available online. The first lecture was titled “Offshoring: The Transition from Economic Drivers toward Strategic Global Partnership and 24-Hour Knowledge Factory” and was an introduction to the idea of a delocalized global workforce. For most of history distance was seen as an impediment to growth but with the 24-Hour Knowledge factory model Dr. Gupta was able to show the potential for increased productivity for a business that is not located solely in one geographic space. The second lecture was titled “International Management of Services” and focused more on the managerial techniques and skills necessary to maintain a 24-hour workforce.
For the third lecture Ivan G. Seidenberg, noted alumnus, visited the school to give a talk entitled “Inventing Verizon: Innovation & Growth in a Transforming Communications Industy” which focused on his time as CEO of Verizon and how the company was able to transform itself from a local utility monopoly to a national powerhouse in the fields of fiberoptics and wireless cellular service. The final lecture of the series will focus on telehealth and the role that the 24-Hour Knowledge Factory will have in that field.
While the University has been making great strides into online education through services like iMentor this MOOC is a bold step for both the University and the Seidenberg school. MOOCs have been pioneered by companies like Coursera and EdX and this will be Pace’s first contribution to the arena. The course is part of Pace’s efforts to use the most advanced technologies to bring their students the best educational experience possible. This course connects students interested in the future of global economics with an expert on it and will prepare them for the forthcoming knowledge based economy.