From MOOC to Market

keepcalmHere’s a nice example of the power of blended learning harnessed in quite literally a very entrepreneurial way… Back in March, MIT launched a very successful MOOC, attracting over 55k online students at its peak; Entrepreneurship 101.

The MOOC was structured around the broad theme of “Who is your customer?” and, among its learning outcomes, was a crowd-sourcing project which gave students the opportunity to showcase their marketing flair.

The really interesting component of the MOOC, however, was what followed next and its competitive taught element. Students were invited to apply for a five-day on-ground “bootcamp” at MIT itself. Applicants were evaluated on a range of criteria, from analytical ability to long-term vision, with just 47 students being admitted to the camp over the summer. The fee for attendance – around $6000.

What happened next was the clever bit. During the course of the camp, supported by tuition and seminars and a range of new venture creation activities, students developed a range of business start-up ideas, both individually and in groups. The talent and energy on display was amazing, with the elite MOOC “graduates” from 22 countries working together to create over 50 new business start-ups in a mere five days. A brilliant result! And a wonderful example of how blended approaches really can deliver tangible results with just a little imagination.

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