Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 2pm

Wharton to Expand its Offerings in MOOC Courses: MBA News

Wharton expansion of MOOC courses

Wharton, the top US business school with plans to move aggressively into massive open online courses (MOOCs) pushed the envelope a little further on Wednesday, announcing a move to expand the MOOC courses that it offers.

The school, tied at number one in the Global 200 rankings for North America this year, announced plans to combine its highly successful ‘Foundation Series’ of four MOOC courses, available on Coursera, with a capstone project that asks participants to apply their knowledge to a real-world business problem. The Business Foundations Specialization package, which will cost US$595, provides a Coursera Verified Certificate for participants who complete the entire series.

Strong MOOC performers to receive application fee waivers

In a first, Wharton also announced that it would invite the top 50 performers in these MOOC courses each year to apply to one of the school’s graduate business programs, and waive the application fee. It will also offer up to five US$20,000 scholarships to students admitted to its MBA program who have excelled in completion of the package over the previous 12 months.

Geoff Garrett, the Wharton dean, said the new specialization package allows the school to continue its outreach to students around the world.

“A key component for us as an institution is the possibility to identify talent from a pool of participants who might not have considered business education before,” he said. “We know that lots of people would love a Wharton education but we just have finite resources on campus. On the internet, of course, we have the opportunity to offer our world-class education at scale around the world.”

(Why two Wharton professors think the technology behind MOOCs could be a threat to business schools).

Wharton capstone project unique for a MOOC

The capstone project, a relatively standard feature of many bricks-and-mortar business school classes, is somewhat unique among MOOC courses.  In the series, the capstone projects will be created by Wharton partners. So far, two companies – the mobile app company, Shazam, and Snapdeal, India’s largest online marketplace – have signed on.

The capstone requires students to define a business opportunity and create a go-to-market plan for either an existing company or their own business. Students who complete the capstone earn a chance to present their projects to leadership teams at Wharton, Shazam, Snapdeal, and other academic and industry leaders.

More than a million people have already enrolled in Wharton’s classes on the Coursera platform, which include accounting, finance, marketing, and operations management. The courses in the new specializations package begin on April 6 with ‘An Introduction to Marketing’ taught by professors Barbara Kahn, David Bell and Peter Fader.

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