October 22, 2012
HEC Montréal is proud to announce its new virtual campus, called EDUlib: a platform offering online university courses for the public in different management fields.
EDUlib is a first in Québec, offing online university courses taught by HEC Montréal professors starting on November 12. The first course – Introduction au marketing – will be available this fall, and two other courses – Comprendre les états financiers and Problèmes et politiques économiques : les outils essentiels d’analyse – will be added in winter and spring 2013, respectively. The selection of online courses will continue to be expanded to meet demand.
“With EDUlib, we are making the expertise of HEC Montréal professors widely available not only across Quebec but also throughout the French-speaking world,” explains HEC Montréal Director Michel Patry. “As I see it, this platform confirms the School’s leadership in terms of both education and the use of new technologies. We can now consider EDUlib one of the services that the School provides for the community, just as it has always made its vast library holdings available to the public.”
According to Jean Talbot, Director of the Department of Teaching Development and Innovation, EDUlib is an experiment, but that in no way compromises the quality of the content. “EDUlib courses are copies of those offered in our classrooms,” maintains Professor Talbot. “They are given by the same professors, and students will come away with university-level knowledge. The course format and timetables may be different, but not the quality of teaching that is so important at HEC Montréal. EDUlib is also a wonderful laboratory for our faculty, allowing them to hone their teaching skills with the help of new technologies.”
Students in these HEC Montréal interest courses will not receive credit toward a university degree. Nonetheless, any participants who pass the quizzes or tests provided as part of the course will receive an attestation.
“With EDUlib,” continues Professor Talbot, “businesspeople and entrepreneurs, for example, will be able to improve their business practices. Future management students may find that it confirms their career choice. In any event, these courses are designed to be widely accessible, in a real effort to share knowledge.”
The EDUlib courses are six weeks long. Anyone can enrol now, for free, at edulib.hec.ca, where they can also see the objectives for the courses offered and the profile of the professors who will be teaching them.
The origins of free online university courses
In fall 2011, two computer science professors at Stanford University came up with the first platform for free online university courses. Their goal was to transform higher education and make it more accessible. The initiative was an instant hit. Since then, the popularity of this means of sharing knowledge has grown by leaps and bounds. Today over one million people are enrolled in a huge variety of online courses, most of them offered by leading American universities including Stanford, Harvard, MIT and the University of Michigan.