IBIS Mooc Platform


What is the IBIS MOOC platform?

For science students to become entrepreneurs, they need to understand and be able to apply the basic principles of economics. The IBIS MOOC platform offers interactive online courses on Principles of Economics for Scientists which are designed to accomplish this goal.

The online courses delivered on this platform were developed as part of the Erasmus+ project IBIS (Implementation of a Business and Innovation module in Science programmes: www.ibisproject.eu). IBIS was coordinated by the Faculty of Science at the KU Leuven who also created the content of the online course modules. Three further partner organisations were part of the Strategic Partnership: the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, as well as imc information multimedia communication AG which operates this platform on behalf of the IBIS project. The project was funded with support from the European Commission (Project number: 2015-BE02-KA203-012261). The information in this project reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

The IBIS online courses can be used as MOOCs or as SPOCs – What does that mean?

Each IBIS online course can be used as a MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses), that means as a free online course accessible to everyone interested in the subject, or as a SPOC (Small Private Online Courses) which is a version of an online course that is used locally with on-campus students of universities. See below for more information and adoption examples.

Why are IBIS online courses interesting?

The goal of the IBIS courses is to bridge the gap between economics and science via a calculus-based online course. The MOOC is flexible in terms of individual use and adoption and it reduces teacher time. Furthermore, it motivates self-regulation and contains learning analytics and gamification elements to enhance student motivation. MOOC users can receive a certificate of completion by the KU Leuven, a university with an international ranking among the best 50 universities worldwide.

How are the IBIS online courses structured?

The online courses delivered on this platform consist of several modules. Within each module, a knowledge clip highlights the main theory that is needed to understand the subject. The remainder of the module focuses on exercises as it is a highly calculus-based course. The exercises are devised so as to provide immediate feedback in the first stages to teach learners how to solve practical problems, while they gradually evolve to more open exercises that are linked to delayed feedback. Content items of the course modules consist of:

  • Introductions: with brief summaries and specific learning outcomes
  • Knowledge clips (with downloadable script and slides) & quizzes
  • Exercises with solution videos
  • Exercises with immediate feedback
  • Exercises which require upload of the learner followed by feedback

Who are the IBIS online courses interesting for?

The online courses are interesting for Science and Technology Faculties of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) at bachelor and master level: the modules can be adopted in minors, majors or specific learning tracks as a stepping stone in becoming a science / technology entrepreneur.

Economics Faculties at bachelor and master level can adopt the modules in the wider pallet of course offerings, especially to bridge economics and science. The modules could be part of pre-master programmes as well.

Teachers can use the online courses for example in a blended-learning scenario. They can adopt the MOOC in their courses to allow the students a self-directed learning of the basic principles of economics. Teachers thus save time which they can use to work with students on practical cases and exercises in face-to-face classroom settings.

For individual users, the MOOC can be used to receive a calculus-based comprehensive and interactive introduction showing how to apply basic principles of economics. MOOC users have the option to receive a certificate after successful completion of the online course.

Are there adoption examples of the IBIS online courses?

The IBIS online courses have already been successfully used at two universities as SPOCs:

  • KU Leuven minor Business and Innovation (30 EC at level 300-400):
    In all the bachelor programmes of the Faculty of Science at KU Leuven this elective minor is offered. Part I of the MOOC “Principles of Economics for Scientists” (6 EC) was successfully piloted in three academic years (AY 2016-2017, AY 2017-2018 and AY 2018-2019). Part II has been piloted in AY 2018-2019. Both courses will be further offered in upcoming academic years.
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Minor SBI and Minor Technology Entrepreneurship (30 EC at level 300-400):
    Part I of the MOOC has been adopted (AY 2017-2018) within the Minor Technology Entrepreneurship, as an introduction to economics. The economics knowledge was then applied through an application paper in the 12 EC workshop course ‘TE in practice’. Part I and II together have been piloted in AY 2018-2019.
Since 2019, the online courses are also offered as a MOOC.

What are the conditions to adopt the IBIS course as SPOC in my institution?

European Higher Education Institution programs or individual teachers can use the IBIS course as SPOC upon request. Our offerings include a list of recommended reading and adoption suggestions. Certain further conditions may apply for specific technical solutions.

Please contact info@ibismooc.eu if you would like to learn more about the adoption of the IBIS online courses at your university.

What are the conditions to adopt the IBIS course as MOOC in my institution?

The IBIS MOOC can be used as a free online course in your institution to support your teaching without specific conditions. If your teachers use the course as a MOOC you cannot change course content or course descriptions and you cannot get specific analytics for your students. But you can still let your students register to the platform and use all existing open course material. If you then realize that you have specific requirements, please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@ibismooc.eu and we will work on a tailored adoption solution.

Who is permitted to enrol for the online courses?

Anyone can register to participate in the MOOC, regardless of his/her education, grade point average, age, nationality or organisational affiliation. There are no access restrictions.

In order to use the courses offered as SPOCs on the IBIS MOOC platform a learner must receive authorization from the partner institution offering the SPOC. In most cases this will be the university where you are enrolled in. Usually your university will offer the SPOC together with a final exam. You can then receive credit points by successful completion of the online course and the final exam. See the adoption examples in this FAQ.

I missed the start date of the MOOC, can I still book and finish the course?

Yes. Although the module structure recommends that you complete each module within the suggested timeframe, you are free to decide for yourself when you want to complete each module and therefore you can still enrol for the MOOC after the official start date (if there is one). For SPOCs your university may close the enrolment, once the standard pacing of the course has reached a certain point.

Are the IBIS MOOCs completely free of charge?

Almost. You can use the platform, book a course and complete it at no cost. However, if you would like to request a certificate after the successful completion of the course, in general we will charge you a fee. The course certificate will be issued by the KU Leuven. More information about purchasing certificates, requirements and costs are given directly in the respective course overview.

Is it possible to cancel a course?

Yes. You can cancel each MOOC directly on the overview page 'My Content' . But please keep in mind that you can neither undo the cancellation by yourself nor rebook the course on the page 'MOOCs&Media'. In such cases please consult support@ibismooc.eu and we will help you out.

Can I use IBIS courses on my mobile device?

Yes. The course content can be accessed by mobile devices and tablets as well as conventional PCs. The design of the platform is responsive which means it automatically adjusts to the appropriate display screen.

Will there be further technical developments on the platform?

Yes. The platform is constantly being updated with new features in an effort to continuously enhance the users' learning experience.

In which languages is the platform available?

Currently the platform is available in English. Other languages can be offered upon request.

Which internet browsers are compatible with the IBIS online course platform?

We generally recommend using a recent browser version as this will not only improve the compatibility with websites but also protect your PC against potential attacks. The IBIS MOOC platform currently supports these and newer versions of the following browsers: MS Internet Explorer 11, MS Edge, Mozilla Firefox 60 Extended Support Release (ESR), Google Chrome 68 and Safari 10 (browser support for mobile devices starting from Android 4 and iOS 9). With older browser versions error messages or design issues might occur.

Why won't the course videos play?

The reason may be the browser settings which enable JavaScript blocker. In this case, you need to deactivate the JavaScript blocker for IBIS online course websites. If you encounter further problems, please contact support@ibismooc.eu.

How can you become a partner and offer an IBIS course?

If you or your institution is interested in offering the IBIS course or modifications of it, please contact us at info@ibismooc.eu. We look forward to working with you!