[Column] Jens Ischebeck: Top five online courses in African perspective
E-learning and online courses (the so called edtech) are booming, also in Africa. Often we talk about online courses in a more general manner.
Africa, continent of the youth, aims at a skills gap between rich and poor. But online education can be one important tool to improve the access to higher education. Edtech benefits of the rising access to mobile phones.
Today we want to enlighten the online course subject in a more specific manner: Which are the most demanded online course topics in Africa?
We did our inquiry based on online courses available at Coursera.
Financial Engineering and Risk Management:
This course draws some aspects from finance and economics, mathematics, statistics, engineering, and computational methods. A greater emphasis lies on the use of simple stochastic models to price derivative securities in different asset classes. They include equities, fixed income, credit and mortgage-backed securities.
The course also focuses on the role played by some of the asset classes applicable during the financial crisis. A fundamental feature of this course is the interview model that helps to give the learner more skills in management practices.
Successful students gain a better understanding of the crucial factors behind the financial engineering. They also acquire a sound knowledge of the limitations of the theory in practice and the reason why the economic models should always receive a healthy degree of skeptics.
There are some practical lessons that successful learners go through in the course of their training. They include asset allocation, and portfolio optimization, real options, commodity and energy derivatives and algorithmic trading.
This course targets business oriented people with interest in playing a crucial role in the economy.
The whole course takes two months during which the learners can interact with valuable learning materials such as videos, notes, and practice questions.
This course is given emphasis since it is the most crucial aspects of a marketing decision. However, it is least understood by the consumers as well as entrepreneurs.
This course enables the learners to learn and practice concepts, techniques and get the grips with the current thinking on assessing and formulating pricing strategies. Those who complete this course gain the ability to analyze how firms attempt to capture value and profits in the revenues they earn.
The course mainly targets the business minded individuals having a particular interest in harnessing the power of pricing strategies to improve the benefits of their own companies or the companies where they work. The skills they gain give them a basic understanding of the principles of marketing and pricing that would be an advantage, but it is not essential.
The language of instruction used to disseminate knowledge for this course is English.
Students taking this courses access learning materials such as videos, readings and practice materials. In total, the course has eleven video, eight reading materials, and three practice quizzes for every week.
The course takes a total of eight weeks, a period that gives the learners an extensive exposure to quality teaching materials.
Passing all the graded assignments available throughout the courses is the only criteria used to determine the students who have passed their exams.
The course mainly focuses on the marketing mix and the skill-set required implementing successful marketing strategies. The entire course explores the four concepts of marketing mix model namely product, pricing, place, and promotion.
Product entails the brand and product management. Promotion requires strategies used for communication, development of an effective public relations, and advertising. The aspect of place involves the distribution channels strategies used as well as the retail chains.
The structure of this course primarily focuses on implementation, and hence the learners can apply the knowledge gained to their work immediately after completing the course. The knowledge gained is also useful in enhancing the development of the business ideas that a person may have.
The entire course has four sections after which every student is required to take a project where they will gain the opportunity to put into practice the learned knowledge. The project entails running a real product through an existing market mix.
The four sections are the brand and product management, pricing strategies, channel management and retailing, and integrated marketing communications, promotion, public relations and digital marketing.
The primary focus of this course is to equip the students with skills that can help them to design effective marketing solutions for the twenty-first-century marketing challenges.
The entire course has three main topics focusing on customer royalty. They include branding, customer centricity, and the practical marketing strategies.
The case of branding, every learner will learn about the branding equity, which is a fundamental element of maintaining the customers are a dynamic world. For instance, the major focus of this topic is to address the constantly emerging start-ups.
Customer centricity mainly concentrates on the clients who form a crucial segment in the marketing cycle.
Practical marketing strategies help the learners to understand the drivers that influence customers and the implementation of marketing strategy.
Upon completion of this course, the learners have a chance of carrying out a project that entails preparation of a strategic analysis and proposal of solutions to real business challenges that are common in the East African region.
Therefore, the knowledge gained from this course is relevant to the existence of a successful business in the twenty-first century. Those who complete this course successfully achieve the potential of delivering practical business solutions to their businesses or places of employment.
With the digital marketing taking shape in the East African region, this course aims at delivering quality skills applicable in digital marketing to the business community.
Therefore, the course examines how the digital tools like the internet, smart phones, and 3D printing are transforming the marketing sector.
The course mainly targets business oriented people with the aim of establishing successful businesses in the twenty-first century. The most crucial aspects of this course entail development of innovative new products, and digital tools for enhancing consumption rates, efficient product distribution, and setting the right prices.
Tools for developing innovative new products gives the consumers a chance of becoming familiar with new digital tools that can enable them to take a more active role in formulating and branding the products they consume.
Therefore, a successful completion of this course will give the learner the capability to learn how new digital tools can enable customers to take a more active role in promotional activities.
Given such, successful students will have the ability to alter the distribution of products and also revolutionize the retail environment.
The primary learning materials used for this course include videos, interactive modules, and practice questions.