Monday, March 03, 2014

Flat World Education and Brandman University will provide teaching material and learning managment for an integrated business degree

Flat World Education (an online textbook publisher) and Brandman University (an online university) have received $9.5 million in venture funding to develop an online, bachelor of business administration degree. The teaching material will not only be "digital first" -- not adapted from a print textbook -- it will be "mobile first."

There are few details, but it sounds like they are building a learning management system for self-paced ("competency-based") courses that is integrated with their own teaching material. That might lead to a pitch that says something like:
Don't adopt online textbooks from traditional publishers and teach using a general purpose LMS like Blackboard, get the whole thing, delivered on a mobile device, from us. Faculty can act as mentors when students get stuck, and we will do the data mining ("adaptive technology and analytics") necessary to support them in spotting problems.
That does not sound much like a Harvard Education, but neither does the experience at many other online and face-face universities.

I'd say this is a longshot, but it is way to early to tell, and it is always nice to see a fresh angle. If they are right, this might be the business degree that rules them all (or at least quite a few of them).