How the world of Market research is evolving?

It’s clear that the world of market research is seeing some dramatic changes. Below are some ways in that we have seen it evolve:

It’s getting even more important to include research throughout the creative process. 
Before, market research may have been considered a “nice-to-have” for marketers.  It was something that could prove the efficacy of advertising and PR campaigns, but was reserved for development of products more often than anything.  

However, as Paquette noted in his post, the rapid evolution of technology, mobile, and social is turning the marketing world upside-down (i.e. digital is replacing broadcastcontent is key) and taking market research with it.  Now, we need to research not only perceptions, but actual thought-processes and stories, because thoseare what resonate with the target audience in the end.

Research and development isn’t just relevant for potential products anymore, it’s relevant  for marketing campaigns.

The numbers are not an exact science.
I’ve only been in the field a few years, and I’ve seen this for myself: the quantitative vs. qualitative differentiators for research are not as relevant today as they were even just one year ago.  I have seen media pick-up of anecdotes in conjunction with hard statistics.  As Greg Heist, a VP at Gongos Research puts it, “Quant or qual will be replaced by quant and qual.  The worlds will collide. Both will occur simultaneously. The result will be research that is deeper, faster, and more insightful than today.”

More of market insights will be about researching what is already there.
Larry Friedman, Ph.D and Chief Research Officer at TNS, wrote a great post about how there’s plenty of data out there that researchers can use to answer unique business questions. Take it from me, though – this isn’t as easy than it sounds.  There is no standardized process for analyzing data like there is for writing a questionnaire.  It’s something to consider for everyone, however, because we live in a very accessible and data-saturated world.

The bottom line today, really, is that there’s no excuse for going into any strategy –including marketing strategy –on intuition alone.

Thanks for March Communications.

List of Courses starting soon in Coursera in August-September 2013

Algorithms, Part I 
6 weeks
Calculus One 
14 weeks
Disaster Preparedness 
6 weeks
Introduction to Sustainability 
8 weeks
Survey of Music Technology 
6 weeks
Computational Investing, Part I 
8 weeks
Microeconomics Principles 
16 weeks
Web Intelligence and Big Data 
12 weeks
機率 (Probability) 
10 weeks
History of Rock, Part One 
7 weeks
The Ancient Greeks 
7 weeks
Linear and Integer Programming 
9 weeks
Networked Life 
7 weeks
9 weeks
Dino 101: Dinosaur Paleobiology 
12 weeks
Analysis of Algorithms 
6 weeks
Economic Issues, Food & You 
10 weeks
A History of the World since 1300 
12 weeks
Health Informatics in the Cloud 
9 weeks
Organizational Analysis 
10 weeks
Statistics One 
12 weeks

Top 40 Lessons for Business + Life


Best lessons for Business + Life.

  1. Work Hard and Work Smart.

  2. Don’t do it if you’re not having fun.

  3. If you’re not scared a lot you’re not growing very much.

  4. When no one else believes in your vision, you absolutely must stay true to your vision. (Have the guts to stay in the game far longer than makes any sense).

  5. The quickest way to build a superb business is to quickly develop the leadership potential of every teammate.

  6. A job is only a job if you choose to see your work as a job. All work is a noble sport. (The reality is all work is a chance to express your genius–and to inspire the world).

  7. Exercising for 20 minutes first thing in the morning is a game-changer.

  8. If you’re not innovating daily, you’re on the path to obsolescence.

  9. If you want an A-Level company, you can’t afford to hire B-Level players.

  10. Give your customers 10X the value they expect and they’ll tell everyone they know about you.

  11. Invest the time to create great social media content and your base will go global + viral.

  12. It’s never been easier to be of service to a large amount of people (and few things are as rewarding).

  13. People are craving transparency+authenticity and community. Give it to them.

  14. Creativity comes in seasons. There’s a time to harvest your ideas. And there’s a time to let the field sit fallow. (I’ve been working on integrating this lesson for years).

  15. Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax (When you relax, your brain shifts into alpha state–the time when million-dollar ideas present themselves).

  16. Change is hard at the beginning, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end. (And without change, there is no progress).

  17. Someone’s going to win in your space. Why not you?

  18. Pursue excellence versus chasing perfection.

  19. Celebrate small wins and you’ll unleash a huge amount of momentum and positive energy.

  20. Learn for an hour a day, no matter what. That’s not a waste of work time. It’s a brilliant use of your work time because you’re paid to know more than anyone who has ever done your job.

  21. Why go for good at what you do when you can stand for iconic?

  22. Transform your fitness and you’ll transform your business.

  23. Delete victimspeak from your languaging. No more “I can’t” and “It’s not possible” and “It’s so hard.” More “I will” and “This is awesome” and “What’s the opportunity here?”

  24. If you inspire one person each day, you’re day hasn’t been a waste. It’s been a blessing.

  25. Living in the past is disrespecting your future.

  26. Build an amazing career but enjoy your lifestyle along the way. What’s the point of becoming a business legend but a failed human being.

  27. Look people in the eyes when you talk to them. Smile at people when you see them. Say “please” to respect them. And “thank you” to appreciate them.

  28. Don’t be on time–Be early.

  29. The person who tries to do everything achieves nothing. Focus. Focus. Focus.

  30. Goal-setting is mission-critical. (Review your Big 5, quarterly goals and daily goals constantly).

  31. To have the results only 5% of businesspeople have, have the guts to do what only 5% of businesspeople are willing to do.

  32. World-class begins when you think you’ve done a great job but know you can do a better job.

  33. Remember that your greatest gift is so much stronger than your deepest fear.

  34. Everyone’s in Human Resources. And we are all paid to develop the talents of the people we work with.

  35. Mediocrity is a mindset. Avoid the mental viruses of negative people.

  36. Be the most honest person you know. It generally takes 30 years to build a fantastic reputation. And 30 seconds to lose it by a single silly move.

  37. Become a lion–not a sheep.

  38. The more devoted you become to serving others, the more your career begins to build itself.

  39. Problems come to test your commitment to your goals, hopes and dreams.

  40. As you become more successful, get more hungry.

Moral Stories and Lessons for Business Life

Lesson 1:
A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out. The Genie says, “I’ll give each of you just one wish” “Me first! Me first!” says the administration clerk. “I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.” Poof! She’s gone. “Me next! Me next!” says the sales rep. “I want to be in Hawaii,relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life.” Poof! He’s gone. “OK, you’re up,” the Genie says to the manager. The manager says, “I want those two back in the office after lunch.”

Moral of the story: Always let your boss have the first say.

Lesson 2:
A crow was sitting on a tree, doing nothing all day. A rabbit asked him,”Can I also sit like you and do nothing all day long?” The crow answered: “Sure, why not.” So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the crow, and rested.

…A fox jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Moral of the story: To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very high up.

Lesson 3: Power of Charisma
A turkey was chatting with a bull “I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree,” sighed the turkey, but I haven’t got the energy.” “Well, why don’t you nibble on my droppings?” replied the bull. “They’re packed with nutrients.” The turkey pecked at a lump of dung and found that it gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally after a fourth night, there he was proudly perched at the top of the tree. Soon he was spotted by a farmer, who shot the turkey out of the tree.

Moral of the story: Bullshit might get you to the top, but it wont keep you there.
Lesson 4:
A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy. A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

Moral of the story:
1. Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy
2. Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend
3. And when you’re in deep shit, it’s best to keep your mouth shut !

Fall 2013 Courses from Stanford Online

Sustainable Product Development

Dariush Rafinejad
Starting August 26th
This course focuses on strategies for the development of sustainable products and manufacturing processes from the perspective of senior executives. Course participants will form teams and develop a new sustainable product, or undertake field study projects to gain firsthand experience with sustainability practices in a company. The course will run for six weeks.
Algorithms: Design and Analysis Part 2
Tim Roughgarden
Starting September 2
This course focuses on fundamental principles of advanced algorithm design, including the greedy algorithm design paradigm, with applications to computing good network backbones and good codes for data compression. The course assumes familiarity with the topics from Part I—especially asymptotic analysis, basic data structures, and basic graph algorithms. The course will consist of lecture videos, integrated quizzes, standalone homework assignments and a final exam. A version of this course is taught to Stanford sophomore, junior, and senior-level computer science majors. The course will run for six weeks. 
Find out more

Mathematical Thinking
Keith Devlin
Starting September 2
Mathematical thinking is not the same as doing math. The goal of this course is to help course participants think the way that professional mathematicians think to solve real problems—problems that can arise from the everyday world, or from science, or from within mathematics itself. Anyone over the age of 17 can benefit from participating in this course, but it is primarily intended for high school seniors or first-year college students who are considering majoring in mathematics (or a mathematically-dependent subject). The course will run for seven weeks and includes monitored discussion, group work, and an open-book final exam. 

Technology Entrepreneurship
Chuck Eesley
Starting September 16th
This course introduces the fundamentals of technology entrepreneurship, pioneered in Silicon Valley. Course participants will learn the process that technology entrepreneurs use to start companies, which includes: finding a commercial opportunity for a technology idea, gathering talent and capital, selling and marketing the idea, and managing rapid growth. To gain practical experience alongside theory, course participants will form teams and work on startup projects. The course will run for nine weeks. 

Organizational Analysis
Daniel McFarland
Starting September 17th
This course focuses on organizational challenges. Each week course participants will learn a different organizational theory and consider cases posing various organizational struggles: school systems and politicians attempting to implement education reforms; government administrators dealing with an international crisis; technology firms trying to create a company ethos that sustains worker commitment; and two universities trying to gain international standing by performing a merger. This course includes assigned reading, interactive assessments, a forum, and a final exam. The course will run for ten weeks. 

Quantum Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers
David Miller
Starting September 24th
This course offers a substantial introduction to quantum mechanics and is designed for anyone with a reasonable college-level understanding of physical science or engineering. It is specifically designed to be accessible not only to physicists but also to college students and technical professionals from a wide range of science and engineering backgrounds. The course will include “refresher” resources for the required mathematics and physics background. The course will run for nine weeks.

Solar Cells, Fuel Cells, and Batteries
Bruce M. Clemens
Starting September 24th
This course focuses on technological solutions to the world’s energy demands. It will examine the scale of global energy use and consider next generation solutions. It will cover the basic physics and chemistry of solar cells, fuel cells, and batteries. The course is structured in weekly units organized around a specific topic, and each unit will be followed by a graded problem set due that week. There will be reading, formative exercises, and a final exam. The course will run for twelve weeks. 

Writing in the Sciences
Kristin Sainani
Starting September 24th
This course teaches scientists to become more effective writers, using practical examples and exercises. Topics include: principles of good writing, tricks for writing faster and with less anxiety, the format of a scientific manuscript, and issues in publication and peer review. Students from non-science disciplines can benefit from the training provided in the first four weeks (on general principles of effective writing). The course will run for eight weeks.

Introduction to Logic
Michael Genesereth
Starting September 30
This course is a basic introduction to logic. It demonstrates how to reason systematically and produce logical conclusions, and it examines logic technology and its applications—in mathematics, science, engineering, business, law, etc. This course differs from other introductory logic courses in two ways: course participants will be taught a novel theory of logic that improves accessibility while preserving rigor, and will be able to see practical applications through interactive demonstrations and exercises. The course will run for 8 weeks and includes background reading and standalone quizzes. 

General Game Playing
Michael Genesereth
Starting September 30
This course is an introduction to General Game Playing (GGP). General game players are computer systems able to play strategy games based solely on formal game descriptions supplied at “runtime.”  (They don’t know the rules until the game starts.) Course participants will learn GGP theory and develop GGP programs capable of competing against humans and against other programs. GGP provides a theoretical framework that has practical applications in areas like business and law. The course will run for 8 weeks.

Practice Based Research in the Arts
Leslie Hill, Helen Paris
Starting October 9th
This unique online course in practice-based research is designed to facilitate and advance the work of students pursuing an arts practice within an academic framework. Using the online space as an open forum to make their work accessible to peers, the course will help equip artist-scholars with tools, frameworks and peer networks that will help them articulate their practice within the academy and beyond. The course will run for ten weeks. 

The Finance of Retirement & Pensions
Joshua Rauh
Starting October 14th
This course focuses on the financial concepts behind sound retirement plan investment and pension fund management. Course participants will become more informed decision makers about their own portfolios, and be equipped to evaluate economic policy discussions that surround public pensions. Participants will do calculations in Microsoft Excel as part of the coursework. The course will run for eight weeks.

Cryptography II
Dan Boneh
Starting October 15th
This course focuses on cryptography, an indispensable tool for protecting information in computer systems. Course participants will learn about the inner workings of cryptographic primitives and protocols and how to apply this knowledge in real-world applications. This course is a continuation of Crypto I. The course will consist of lecture videos with integrated quizzes, standalone homework, optional programming assignments, and a (not optional) final exam. The course will run for 6 weeks.

Jeff Ullman
Starting November 4th
This course focuses on Automata Theory, and is based on material taught at Stanford in the Computer Science course CS154. The course will run for 6 weeks and includes assignments, quizzes and exams. 

To participate in these free public courses developed by Stanford faculty, please visit the course web page. You can find out more about Stanford programs and the courses they offer at

Common Data Analysis mistakes

Here are five things to watch out for when doing data analysis:

  1. Apples and oranges: Comparing unrelated data sets or data points and inferring relationships or similarities.

  2. Poor data hygiene: Analyzing incomplete or “dirty” data sets and making decisions based on the analysis of that data.

  3. Narrow focus/not enough data: Analyzing data sets without considering other data points that might be crucial for the analysis (for example, analyzing email click-through rate but ignoring the unsubscribe rate).

  4. Bucketing: The act of grouping data points together and treating them as one. For example, looking at visits to your website and treating unique visits and total visits as one, inflating the actual number of visitors but understating your true conversion rate.

  5. Simple mistakes and oversight: “It happens to the best of us.”

Dream Psychology by Sigmund Freud Chapter 1 Audiobook

by Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). Translated by M.D. Eder (1866-1936) with an introduction by Andre Tridon (1877-1922).

Not a few serious-minded students, […], have been discouraged from attempting a study of Freud’s dream psychology. The book in which he originally offered to the world his interpretation of dreams was as circumstantial as a legal record to be pondered over by scientists at their leisure, not to be assimilated in a few hours by the average alert reader. In those days, Freud could not leave out any detail likely to make his extremely novel thesis evidentially acceptable to those willing to sift data. – Freud himself, however, realized the magnitude of the task which the reading of his magnum opus imposed upon those who have not been prepared for it by long psychological and scientific training and he abstracted from that gigantic work the parts which constitute the essential of his discoveries.

The publishers of the present book deserve credit for presenting to the reading public the gist of Freud’s psychology in the master’s own words, and in a form which shall neither discourage beginners, nor appear too elementary to those who are more advanced in psychoanalytic study.

– Dream psychology is the key to Freud’s works and to all modern psychology. With a simple, compact manual such as Dream Psychology there shall be no longer any excuse for ignorance of the most revolutionary psychological system of modern times.
–(From the book introduction, by Andre Tridon).

Click Here to download the complete audio book.


Saberi and co-founder Farnaz Ronaghi, both natives of Iran, started NovoEd in January 2013. The online learning platform that integrates elements of social media was originally developed as an in-house Stanford program called Venture Lab.

NovoEd was originally a Stanford operation called Venture Lab that allowed faculty to put classes online with a platform designed for team projects and collaboration. In January, Saberi took a leave of absence from the university to launch the company with co-founder Farnaz Ronaghi, who was a Ph.D student. “There was so much demand from the outside,” Saberi, a Stanford management and engineering science professor who built the platform over several weekends in 2012, told me. “We also had such rapid growth within Stanford that there was no choice but to spin out.”

The company is backed by Costanoa Ventures, Foundation Capital, Kapor Capital, Learn Capital, Maveron, Ulu Ventures and a number of angel investors. The amount of capital raised is not yet public. Previous online education startups born out of Stanford, Coursera and Udacity, raised $22 million and $21 million, respectively, when they turned their Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) into independent companies.

NovoEd aims to support collaboration among students. Co-founder and CEO Amin Saberi says that it doesn’t matter how many people are part of the lecture aspects of classes but the sweet size for collaborative groups is between 4 and 10 people. Completion rates on NovoEd have been relatively speaking high: 17% of the students who sign up complete a class (and half of those who finish the first assignment also finish the class.)

Since it debuted earlier this year, NovoEd reports that 458,600 students (in 152 countries) have taken its classes. More interesting: NovoEd says that 56,190 project teams have been formed and that they’ve created about 1,500 businesses (or at least a marketing page and pitch deck) via NovoEd.  

NovoEd is also using the data generated by students’ activities to both help match them with the most suitable teammates–and most intriguingly–to improve the assessments of their work. “If you have a submission from a certain [person’s] profile, who would be the right person to match the assignments so they can give the ‘most accurate’ evaluation and feedback,” Saberi says. By “most accurate,” Saberi means an evaluation that most closely corresponds to what the professor (or say, the professor and a small number of top assistants) would be likely to give.

NovoEd offers a mixture of free and fee-based programs. (NovoEd splits any revenue with the course provider). Students can earn certificates of accomplishment.

Click Here to view the courses offered by NovoEd.

Free Online Entrepreneurial Education Courses

NovoEd, the Menlo Park-based massive online course program that aims to support social learning, is debuting on August 15 2013 an online entrepreneurship program. Supporting schools are big names in the business school world including Stanford University, Babson College (which has consistently topped the US News & World Report list of “entrepreneurship education” since 1995) and the Kauffman Fellows Academy among others. The program debuts with more than a dozen courses, including “Technology Entrepreneurship” offered in English, Mandarin, and Spanish by Stanford’s Chuck Eesley. Notable by his absence is Stanford’s Steve Blank, who offers his own “How to build a startup” class over at Udacity.

Here is the partial list of courses offered by NovoEd

To know more about the courses offered by NovoEd- Click Here

MOOC Elements for Corporate learning & development

The following three MOOC elements are particularly well-suited to corporate learning & development:

  • Semi-synchronicity: Most MOOCs allow students to go through the course as a ‘semi-synchronous’ cohort of learners. That means each week the group receives the same assignment of video lectures, readings, quizzes and/or threaded discussions, but each member completes that course work on his or her own time. The design of semi-synchronous cohorts provides learners the opportunity to motivate each other as they go through the program.
  • Course design: “Flipping the classroom,” or swapping classwork with homework, was first made popular by Khan Academy, and is one of the defining features of MOOCs.This way, the most of the learning happens not through a professor lecturing but by giving students access to course materials and having them study and explore them at home. Then in class, they put their new knowledge to work with role-plays, use cases, and exercises.
  • Credentials: Many MOOCs offer college credit or certificates of completion, which help to legitimize and formalize the learning. At leading MOOC providerCoursera, 14 percent of courses offer verified certificates, for which registration costs between $30 and $100 depending on the course’s length and content. Seventy-five different Coursera courses offer verified certificates, through what the company calls its ‘Signature Track,’ and five of those offer college credit eligibility – they include Pre-Calculus and Algebra from UC IrvineCalculus fromUPenn, and from Duke one class on genetics and evolution and another on bioelectricity.In the workplace, certificates function as an incentive for employees to complete optional training or skill development courses, because they’ll have something to show for all their work.

MOOC Coorses on the Business of Sports

Now you can have a chance to take Sports Business courses, free of charge.

In August 2013, the B-school launches a new “massive open online course,” or MOOC, called The Global Business of Sports, via online provider Coursera.

Taught by longtime Wharton professor Kenneth Shropshire, the online course is modeled after the popular Sports Ventures & Social Impact course that has been offered to Wharton undergrads and MBAs for years. It covers the business angles of such concepts as player salaries, unions, sports agents, stadiums and arenas, and media rights.

To Shropshire, taking the course online is an exciting prospect. “It is a new frontier, and it reaches such a broad audience in terms of both numbers and demographics,” he says. “It is exciting both to prepare the course with that in mind and to contemplate the feedback.” As of Friday, more than 20,000 individuals had signed up for the seven-week course. The large number and diversity of students is a major consideration for Shropshire in how he approaches teaching the online course, especially considering that the traditional in-class offering at Wharton has a student count of only about 60. “That’s part of the challenge,” he says. “To be able to deliver material that is democratic in terms of accessibility in both substance and level.”

According to the school, the online course will include weekly videotaped lectures featuring Shropshire describing various sports business concepts and illustrating them with real-world case studies involving the NFL, NBC Sports, and the FIFA World Cup. Additionally, a few of the lectures will include interviews with leading stakeholders in the industry

University Of Colorado is Launching Free Online courses (MOOC) In Comics

In the wake of massive successes in numbers and pro-interest in open access online courses studying comics and graphic novels both in the US and UK, the University of Colorado is gearing up for its own MOOC (massive open online course) starting on September 23rd with space for unlimited numbers. The Comics and Graphic Novels Course will explore the “governing question”: “by what terms can we discuss comic books as literary art?” The workload is set at 3-4 hours of work for students per week and will run for 7 weeks. Professor William Kuskin of University of Colorado, Boulder, who has been heavily involved in promoting the study of comics for some time, will teach the course. Remarkably, the Coursera hosted program is free to all who wish to sign up and there are no purchases required in terms of comics, though students may want to buy the comics anyway.

The MOOC will be particularly focused on American comics and the history behind them, and look at the place of comics in “literary culture”. The draft syllabus already posted for the course shows its comprehensive scope. It’s going to start off with modes of reading the comics medium in terms of format, then move on to Golden Age, Silver Age, Underground Comics, and economic topics as well as focusing on key canonical authors and texts. These are going to include Maus, Persepolis, Fun Home, the works of Frank MillerNeil GaimanAlan MooreDave GibbonsJoe Sacco, and Chris Ware, among others. Each week a guest lecturer will also be participating, slated as Barry BarrowsJim VaccaWayne Winsett, and Chris Angel.

What is a MOOC?

Mooc stands for a massive open online course.

It is an online course aimed at large-scale participation and open access via the internet

They are similar to university courses, but do not tend to offer academic credit

A number of web-based platforms – including edX, Coursera and Udacity – supported by top universities and colleges offer Moocs in a wide range of subjects.

Massive open online courses – threat or opportunity?- From BBC

Can online courses with large-scale interactive participation and open access via the web replace face-to-face teaching in a traditional university setting? Newsnight’s David Grossman examines the rise of massive open online courses (Moocs).

Former US President Bill Clinton said recently the higher education industry needs to undergo a “dramatic change”.

“I think the only sustainable answer is to find a less expensive delivery system,” he said.

The Mooc could just be the answer. The question is, at what cost?

Click here
to read more.

MOOC (Free courses) Students Attracted Most By Course Topics

According to a survey of participants in courses on the Canvas Network,

  • 76% students said they signed up because of the topic,
  • 75% because it was free, 
  • 61% for professional development, and
  • 44% because they wanted to find out what MOOCs are all about. 
  • It turned out that 72% of those who enrolled were themselves professional educators.

Students who enroll in massive open online courses (MOOCs) enroll mostly out of sheer interest in the topic, and when they don’t finish it’s often because life got in the way. The survey, conducted in May and June, polled 1,834 people from the Canvas Network registration database, including 696 who had just enrolled and 1,138 who had completed MOOC courses.

Although not a major motivation at time of enrollment, the study did find that credentials or college credit could increase MOOC completion rates. About two-thirds of respondents said they would be more likely to complete a MOOC that offered a certificate or transferable college credit. About 10% who didn’t complete noted lack of incentive as the main reason. Although the survey didn’t necessarily capture a representative sampling of all those who dropped out, of those who said they did not complete a MOOC, 68% said they got too busy and 20% said they lost interest. “Time is a very valuable commodity, and things do come up. When the course is electronic or virtual, it’s easier to walk away than it would be from an in-person engagement.”

The study also found that only 60% of incoming students planned to participate in MOOC discussion forums, but 72% of those who completed the course wound up engaging in online discussions. Students who were highly engaged in discussions were six times more likely to complete a course, according to the survey. Of the incoming students, 30% had taken a MOOC previously, most commonly with Coursera (81%), followed by another Canvas Network course (36%), an edX course (22%) or one from Udacity (20%). Many were building on prior higher education, meaning a four-year degree (19%), a master’s (37%) or a doctoral degree (11%).

“They tend to be lifelong learners or people who have advanced degrees already,” said Misty Frost, Instructure’s VP of marketing. “They’re people who are interested in learning — and interested in learning interesting things.” If they find that the material is not interesting, it’s easy enough for them to drop the course, she said. Perhaps that’s why the Canvas Network’s number-one course is one on “Gender Through Comic Books.” “It has that edutainment value,” Frost said. Instructure worked with Qualtrics to poll students in an effort to better understand what attracts MOOC students. The LMS provider is in the MOOC business to support its customers who want to experiment with the medium, she said.

Know these points before taking an open Online course (MOOC Tips)

We bring you some tips from an independent blogger before you take up a MOOC Course. Don`t sign up for all the courses that you like.

Let your platter not be more full than what you could take in. Take 1 or 2 courses at a time.

Have a fixed study time just as like we have it the universities ans stick to the schedule. Most of these courses demand 5-7 hours a week. Don`t watch all the 5 lectures at one single stretch. Watch only one video per day and understand the indent of it.

Take notes as you watch the lecture. Pay utmost attention to the lecture as you would do in a traditional course. Sign out from G talk, Facebook and all the other distracting features such as ad`s in the sidebar. Keep all browser tabs closed except the one that is needed. Needless to say, avoid distractions at home/office and keep your cell phone in silent mode.

Participate in the discussion forums. Involve yourself in these discussion forums. I made many friends from many countries through the discussion forums. Ask your questions here, answer other students question. Be kind of others. I have seen lot of rude dominating activities in these discussion forums. Refrain from these kinds of activities and keep in mind that the professor keeps a eye on the discussion forums. Discussion Forums are meant to help others, so keep it clean.

Try honestly to solve the assignments. Here is a warning : If you go through the discussion forums, you will find the answers/solution tips, but avoid doing this. Only if you could not answer/dint understand the questions, go to the discussion forums. The objective is learn by doing, not learn by copying.

Tell to your family, friends and colleagues that you are taking a course. Put it up on your social media websites. This makes you accountable and answerable, hence, you would stay focused on completing the course.

Don`t do the course just for the sake of certificate. The certificate is just a piece of paper and has no real value in market or it will not help you get a promotion or increase the value of your resume. So, focus on learning concepts rather than certificate.

How to Learn Arabic Language Online for free?


  • Arabic Language Lessons – iTunes
    • 10 free lessons that will teach you the Arabic


  • ArabicPod – iTunes
    • MP3s and PDF transcripts.


  • Foreign Service Institute Basic Amharic – Web
    • Includes samples of speech, explanations of basic language structures, and a variety of practical exercises. Two textbooks and 11 audio lessons.


  • Foreign Service Institute Written Arabic – Web
    • Spoken exercises in Arabic and the printed transcriptions. Four textbooks and 31 audio lessons.


  • Foreign Service Institute Levantine Arabic – Web
    • Introduction to pronunciation. Textbook and 19 audio lessons.


  • Foreign Service Institute Saudi Arabic – Web
    • Urban Hijazi dialect. Textbook and 51 audio lessons.


  • Foreign Service Institute Comparative Arabic – Web
    • From Eastern to Western Arabic, and Levantine-Egyptian comparative study- 2 textbooks.


  • Survival Phrases Arabic – iTunes
    • Basic Arabic.

What is a MOOC? Video by Dave Cormier

Written and Narrated by Dave Cormier,

Video by Neal Gillis

Dave Cormier
Alexander McAuley
George Siemens
Bonnie Stewart

Created through funding received by the University of Prince Edward Island through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s “Knowledge Synthesis Grants on the Digital Economy

How to Learn English Language Online for free?

  • 6 Minute English – iTunes – Download – Web
    • Learn and practice useful English with the BBC.


  • American English Speech – Web
    •  The OLI American English Dialect course from Carnegie Mellon supplies the necessary reinforcement of dialectical structure, audio, production technique and phonetic representation for each sound.


  • Better @ English – iTunes Free – Feed
    • Focuses on conversational English, with an emphasis on idioms and slang.


  • Business English – iTunes
    • Learn the English you will need to function effectively in an American business environment.


  • Connect with English – Web
    • Featuring the story of Rebecca, an aspiring singer on a journey across America, Connect With English offers 50 fifteen-minute video programs that will teach English as a second language to high school students, college students and adult learners. Produced by WGBH Boston.


  • Effortless English – iTunes
    • It gets solid reviews.


  • English as a Second Language – iTunes – Web
    • A very well liked collection of ESL lessons. Over 100 episodes in the collection.


  • English for Spanish Speakers (’Por Fin Aprende Ingles’) – iTunes
    • Si usted haya asistido al menos a un curso de ingles, y usted necesita la oportunidad de escuchar al ingles y hablar el ingles, entonces ‘Por Fin Aprende Ingles’ es el podcast perfecto para usted. Presentado por Carla Staufert-Sauvier, una profesora de Mexico, y Jade Lindquist, una profesora de los EE UU.


  • English in the Real World – iTunes
    • The focus here is on the business world and things financial.


  • ESL Business News – iTunes – Web
    • A weekly wrap of international business news read in slow, clear English. Listen to the broadcast and follow along in the accompanying script.


  • Film English – Web
    • Site promotes the innovative and creative use of film in language learning. All of the lesson plans revolve around the use of video and film to teach English. Recently won a British Council ELTons awards for Innovation in Teacher Resources.


  • Grammar Girl – iTunes – Web
    • Grammar Girl provides short, friendly tips to improve your writing. Whether English is your first language or your second language, these grammar, punctuation, style, and business tips will make you a better and more successful writer.


  • Speaking English – iTunes – Web
    • 100+ lessons focusing on English pronunciation and vocabulary.


  • The English We Speak – iTunes – Web
    • Each week, the BBC looks at phrases used in the English language.


edX MOOC Platform

edX, launched in Fall 2012, is a massive open online course (mooc) platform founded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. The two institutions have contributed $30 million each to the non-profit project. edX was developed on MITx, a similar project launched by MIT in 2011.

The idea was to offer online university-level courses in a wide range of disciplines to a worldwide audience at no charge. The “learning platform” has been developed as open-source software and made available to other institutions of higher learning that want to make similar offerings. EdX was open sourced on June 1, 2013. There are plans to allow other schools to offer courses on the edX website also. Certificates of successful completion are offered at no cost but not course credit Neither MIT nor Harvard students may take the online courses for credit; they will be used to enrich their learning experience. In addition to educational offerings the project will be used to research learning and distance education.

Seven courses were launched in the initial offering in fall 2012. The design of a viable business model for sustainability of the enterprise is in progress. Now edX offers interactive online classes in subjects including law, history, science, engineering, business, social sciences, computer science, public health, and artificial intelligence (AI).


Sherlock Holmes Audiobook – A Scandal in Bohemia

“A Scandal in Bohemia” was authored by Arthur Conan Doyle. This book is  the first of  the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories published in The Strand Magazine and the first Sherlock Holmes story illustrated by Sidney Paget.  Doyle ranked “A Scandal in Bohemia” fifth in his list of his twelve favourite Holmes stories.

Holmes is hired by the King of Bohemia to recover blackmail evidence, held by the woman whom the king once promised to marry, but who he abandoned for a woman of noble birth.

Thanks to LibriVox for the beautiful audio file.

Free Online Certificate Courses from Top Universities-A new trend

The free online college courses are offered from top ranking universities including Harvard, Stanford and MIT. Students from developing countries especially from India are enrolling in droves.

 A drawback that these students from developing countries face from attending these MOOC’s is that the educational content is not yet specifically designed to the diverse needs of a worldwide student-body who have vast differences in cultural backgrounds, language skills and motivational factors because these courses are currently offered from U.S. based institutions of higher learning in most cases.

The MOOC providers should announce their plans to bring a new concept of Massive Open Online Courses to developing countries like Brazil and India. New start-ups like EducateMe360 are promising. Offering customized MOOC’s content to the students of developing countries, with courses designed for the specific needs of the developing country students is a better way to spread knowledge. Steps to deliver Courses in their native language for all levels of graduate and undergraduate work should be initiated.

Any student with access to a computer with internet capabilities can take advantage of the classes taught by esteemed scholars from Berkley, California, Cambridge, Massachusetts, or Princeton, New Jersey. This is a revolution in higher learning for Developing Countries where the previous barriers of poor educational quality, lack of educational access, and higher costs for overseas studies have been instantly overcome in a single blow. 

Complete List of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) sites

A complete List of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) sites: 

The acronym MOOC stands for massive, open, online course and it’s a term used to describe large numbers of learners coming together in one course to learn in a connected way and providing open access to large population via the internet. MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for the students, professors, and teaching assistants (TAs). A large number of students and professionals are accessing free educational content through Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) that provides free access to best-in-class education taught by faculty at top universities. Growing internet penetration and MOOC has lowered the entry barriers and encouraging students to access quality education from top universities like Stanford, Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for free.

MOOC providers like Coursera, Udacity and Khan Academy provide new ways to connect, collaborate and share information leading to knowledge sharing process. Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller from Stanford University founded Coursera and it offers over 300 courses from 20 categories including engineering, humanities, medicine and mathematics created by 62 Universities from over 15 countries.

According to Antony Alex, CEO of Rainmaker, “MOOCs can be a great way to supplement formal higher education as well as to gain cross-functional knowledge. It opens up access to quality content thereby democratising higher education.”

List of MOOC Providers in ascending order

  1. 10gen Education 
  2. Academic Earth
  3. Canvas
  4. Class2go-Stanford Online
  5. Class2go-University of Western Australia
  6. Coursera 
  7. CourseSites
  8. Education Portal
  9. edX 
  10. Eliademy
  11. Futurelearn
  12. iDESWEB
  13. iversity 
  14. Khan Academy
  15. MRUniversity 
  16. NovoEd 
  17. Open2Study 
  18. OpenHPI 
  19. OpenLearning  
  20. Open Learning Initiative – Carnegie Mellon Iniversity
  21. OpenUpEd 
  22. P2PU   
  23. Saylor 
  24. Udacity 
  25. Udemy 
  26. Unimooc
  27. UoPeople   
  28. World Education University  
  29. WideWorldEd



Big data does not mean big insight.

Examining the tactics for building a unified view of the customer, Market leaders were united in thinking that although the amount of data available is greater than it ever has been, the key to understanding was to drill down by asking the correct questions.

Google group product marketing manager Mark Riseley said that: “At the moment, the analytics explain less about the why. This will get better but at the moment this is a problem. “

 Lucien Bowater, director of strategy and insight at BSkyB, agreed and said that although having this data was good, the conclusions made solely from big data were not “what they ask for”. He continued: “You have to choose what business question you are trying to answer and choose how you answer it.” RBS head of customer experience Steve Whitty commented: “How do we grapple with fragmented data? Can we plot strategy out of it? It is less about how to measure more, but what are we going to do about [data]?”

Bowater added: “I don’t need three decimal places [in the researchers’ report], I just need to be told where to dig.”

Published by MRS Annual Conference 2013