There are countless MOOCs (Massive open online courses) out there. In fact, there are so many that it can be a pain to find one that interests you. However, we recently had a chance to ask Michael Howe a bit about how his company, GroupMooc helps users find the right one.
What is GroupMooc?
GroupMooc is a MOOC aggregator app which builds course plans for learners with workload and key event information, and allows creation of study groups to foster collaborative learning. GroupMooc will grow over time as we add a paid-for suite of Learning Management System (“LMS”) features focused on organizations who wish to use MOOCs for internal or external training, including ‘approved course’ lists for different departments and a metrics dashboard to monitor learning frequency and intensity.
Who is this product for?
GroupMooc helps individual learners organize MOOCs from different providers into a mobile study plan with group collaboration functionality. We released this functionality in January 2014 and we’re really excited about the results: 88% of our App Store reviews are 5-star and user feedback is overwhelmingly positive, e.g., “Hi, I am not able to find the words to describe how I am happy to find this app, I really like it and if possible, please keep adding. Another bundle of thanks to you.”
In future GroupMooc will have another audience: companies that require an LMS to use MOOCs for training purposes. To serve this market, which is worth $2.5B globally and is forecast to grow 25% annually to $7.8B in 2018 (source: MarketsandMarkets), we’re designing LMS features which will be provided on a SaaS basis. While the LMS industry is established, many learning professionals are dissatisfied with their providers and the market is ripe for disruption (sources: Expertus; Training Industry). GroupMooc can disrupt to win because, unlike other LMSs, we harness worldclass MOOC content in a mobile-first solution, allowing small and large companies to take advantage of MOOCs quickly and easily.
What makes GroupMooc unique?
It is the first MOOC aggregator with a built in tool set designed to organize thousands of course metrics from different MOOC providers into a study planner. The app also has crowd sourcing functionality which adds rich key event information from the students enrolled. The app also allows learners to create unique study groups across multiple MOOC providers to help stimulate the learning process. Finally, the LMS functionality will deliver thousands of MOOCs from different providers to organizations in a completely mobile solution. Other LMSs don’t seamlessly integrate top-quality content from the world’s best universities, nor do they have a low-cost BYOD offering like GroupMooc does.
Why did you get involved in the Education?
We’re excited about MOOCs because growing up in developing countries we witnessed how access to high-quality education can transform lives. New developments in Ed-Tech products is helping make this a reality for many people.
Tell us about your team and their backgrounds
Our team has complimentary skills. One founder is skilled in product development and the other has 10 years experience running a small business. In addition we have a 20-year veteran of the software industry.
What is the next step? What do your current goals look like?
We are in the process of building the Android version of the free iOS app. We are also designing a more complete LMS side to the mobile product with the additional sophistication required by larger organisations. This will provide organisations with a more structured solution to learning programs for staff, partners and clients including compliance and reporting requirements.