NovoEd, a privately held Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform, has announced a new entrepreneurship curriculum in partnership with several institutions, including Stanford University, where NovoEd was developed before being taken private in April. Other partners include Babson College, the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley, the University of California at San Francisco, and the Kauffman Fellows Academy.
The new series of 12 courses begins this fall and will cover topics including accounting for entrepreneurs, negotiations, raising startup capital, and technology entrepreneurship. Some courses will be available in Spanish and Mandarin. Most courses are free, though some are priced at $250, and one course, on venture capital, is priced at $999.
Though the popularity of MOOCs has skyrocketed since they first came on the higher ed scene, dropout rates are often steep. The NovoEd platform was developed to address this problem by facilitating collaboration on projects, and allowing students to rate the work and participation of their peers, creating a system of accountability.
So far, the system seems to have an impact. This spring, one of the first courses offered by NovoEd boasted a 17 percent completion rate, NovoEd co-founder and CEO Amin Saberi told LJ. While that may not seem high, one study indicated that the average MOOC completion rate was less than seven percent, Inside Higher Ed reported in May.
“The social component of the NovoEd platform is critical to this curriculum. True learning is not done in isolation, and neither is entrepreneurship,” Clint Korver, director, Kauffman Fellows Academy and one of the program’s instructors, said in an announcement. The platform also allows students to develop, maintain, and expand their network of peers and collaborators across courses.
Saberi said that he views libraries as institutions that could help patrons build local collaborative groups around these and other MOOCs, further enhancing the engagement and accountability generated when working with others.
“They can be a great resource for local discussion, local meetups,” he said. “Students can have access to the content, the computers, and then work among themselves.”