Brands vs Scholars

Im just wondering if recent changes to how Universities offer courses (and what courses) will start to see them use the kind of promotion seen in MOOCs. For example, to get people into a game MOOC, grab yourself someone who’s popular in both pubic reading and discussion and also academic realms. That way you get the exposure and the scholarship. I can totally see why having a big, popular name in a MOOC would assist it’s enrolment if not the participation of students and drop-out rates.

But what if Universities now start to bring in popular media stars into course too. For example, “Secondary Educational Methods” featuring “Greg Whitby” or “Educational Leadership” featuring “Darcy Moore”. At what point do peoples relative efforts in intentional or unintentional self-branding become valuable as a marketing tool. We’ve seen corporations try this before such as McDonalds, only to meet criticism. At the same time, many who use personal-branding as leverage for their corporate brands. For example Will Richardson’s Powerful Learning Practice … which goes well beyond Will of course. I think many people do have a vision and want to create ‘entities’ which I also think are mostly effective in meeting selective gaps and needs. But I wonder, why would a large institution want to cross-brand with what are ultimately very small businesses.

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