The MOOC Revolution: The Best MBA Electives For Free

Grow To Greatness: Smart Growth For Private Businesses – Parts I and II

School: University of Virginia (Darden)

Source:  Coursera

Link: Grow To Greatness – Part 1, Grow To Greatness – Part 2

Start Date: January 14, 2014 (Part 1)

May 17, 2014 (Part 2)

Workload: 4-6 Hours Per Week (5 Weeks Long – Part 1)

4-6 Hours Per Week (4 Weeks Long – Part 2)

Instructor: Edward D. Hess

Credentials: Professor Hess is a professor of Business Administration at the Darden School of Business. Over his career, he has authored 10 books and 60 Darden cases, along with appearing in business outlets like,, Business Insider, The Financial Times, Fortune, Money, CNBC, Fox Business, and Dow Jones. In the private sector, he has conducted executive education programs in companies ranging from Pitney Bowes to Cigna. Hess also acts as Executive-in-Residence at Darden’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, where he researches the challenges inherent to business growth.

Graded: Students will receive a signed Statement of Accomplishment for completing the course.

Description: This two-part course will expose students to the growth challenges businesses face after being successfully launched. In Part 1, students will witness how businesses can struggle in weighing various alternatives, implementing consistent processes, prioritizing initiatives, and establishing a plan instead of operating day-by-day. In Part 2, the course will focus on driving and measuring employee performance, establishing cultural mores that reward the right behaviors, and building a strong leadership team.

Before each session, students will read assigned articles and case studies. During the weekly session, studies will watch videos that will expand on this content. The videos will also present workshop exercises, where students will provide strategies to a new business each week to help them solve issues like whether they should franchise their business to grow. Afterwards, students will learn which strategies were adopted – and whether they worked.  Students may organize course communities through the Discussion Forum to help students interact and learn from each other.

Review (Part 1): “Only Coursera class taken that has been engaging…which is a feat with an on-line platform.Assignments were relevant to materials presented, Prof Ed had office hours weekly AND he answered questions regularly.Meaningful, thoughtful, wonderful class! I applaud his dedication and cannot wait until part II to begin in April!” For additional reviews of this course, click here.

Review (Part 2): “I was a little disappointed about this course. I would say that the course is okay if you know noting about the subject, but if you know a little there is not much information to get…The good point i can say about the course is that the professor was very enthusiastic, the slides was okay and the professor was very active on the forum. The down side was that the course was not prepared well for running online. In the video lecture the camera was mainly on the professor and not on the slides which made is problematic to watch them on double speed. The was no quizzes apart from the ones in the videos, but instead we was ask to post our answers in the forum, robing us from instance feedback.” For additional reviews of this course, click here.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.