Interesting piece on BBC Business pages about online education providers providing physical spaces in which their students can meet and talk. We blogged about MOOCs (massive open online courses) last September. This has been described as a shift from “bricks to clicks” – but now it seems that students cannot do without the bricks, so operators are setting up learning hubs around the world. The article focuses on the need users have for social interaction with each other, because ‘learning is a lonely business’. But the hubs also provide the opportunity for students to be mentored, both by the providers and each other.
This illustrates the idea that human beings operate in virtual servicescapes, but still need physical reality. This applies not just to universities, but to retailers of all kinds too.