When Amin Saberi and Farnaz Ronaghi launched the online education platform NovoEd earlier this year, the pair entered an already crowded space. NovoEd was the third massive open online course (MOOC) provider to come out of Stanford University, where Udacity and Coursera both got their start.
But the co-founders believed they were filling a need that was lacking in the MOOC community by organizing courses that put peer interaction at the forefront. On August 15, NovoEd announced that it is partnering with four institutions to offer courses that promote that same entrepreneurial spirit.
“Entrepreneurship education is the engine of change needed to drive global economies forward,” said Saberi in an announcement. “With this new curriculum, NovoEd is empowering students anywhere to create solutions that benefit their own communities. We are proud to work with such esteemed institutions to take advantage of the social web so students can change their worlds.”
See Page 2 for details about what could set NovoEd’s courses apart from similar partnerships.
The new deals are with Babson College, Kauffman Fellows Academy, the University of California at San Francisco, and Stanford. So far the partnerships have yielded 11 courses on topics like startup pitches, financial analysis, and venture capital. The courses explore how to secure funding, start a venture, and be a CEO.
NovoEd’s courses are designed with collaboration in mind, and the platform is banking on that to set these partnerships apart from similar MOOC deals. While other MOOCs have struggled to facilitate teamwork, NovoEd encourages it from the get-go by putting students in groups at the start of a course and then allowing them to interact through messaging, discussion boards, and peer evaluation.
Even more, the platform and its collaborative nature was created in 2012 specifically for a course Saberi taught on entrepreneurship.
“The social component of the NovoEd platform is critical to this curriculum,” said Clint Korver, director at Kauffman Fellows Academy. “True learning is not done in isolation and neither is entrepreneurship.”