The London School of Business and Finance has started putting free MBA classes up on Facebook. "Our new model is ideal for people who want to up-skill and need to earn while they learn, and lets them do this at zero risk. We let them take lectures, participate in case studies and discussions, and test themselves, without paying a fee," Aaron Etingen, LSBF's founder, told the Financial Times.
Isn't this mostly just posting a bunch of videos on Facebook and talking about them--something even our moms can do? Free online lectures and discussion forums have been available through iTunes U and a slew of other sites on the Internet for some time now. So, using an existing social networking platform as a hub of information is not especially "new." But this is a good time to bring up another point about online colleges.
For those considering enrolling in an online university, know what you're getting into. Do the research you would do for a brick and mortar school. For-profit online colleges have been growing at an explosive pace, but their quality and reputability have largely gone unscrutinized. Online universities mostly appeal to the less moneyed, and to those who want to bulk up their credentials while working a full-time job. So during a recession, then, where tuition costs continue to rise, places like the University of Phoenix are cleaning up. This doesn't mean that the courses are bunk, of course, only that prospective students should be vigilant.
Etingen refutes charges of marketing gimmickry, but it's hard not to think that's exactly what it is. After all, people who take these classes on Facebook won't be getting an MBA for free--they'll still need to pay to get that diploma, via a formal assessment.
If you're curious, here's the Facebook page. In order to take part, you'll have to "like" the page.
What do you think about a Facebook MBA?
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