20 Essential MOOC Courses In Business

Remember when you’d spend $1,200 or more to take a course? You’d slip out of work early to spend your nights with the other climbers. Who knows, maybe you hit the jackpot and took a correspondence course…usually from an institution you’d never heard of before. But that’s changing. These days, you can enroll in many foundational and elective business classes online. Most times, they’re free and taught by tenured faculty from the top institutions.

It’s a pretty sweet deal, even if you don’t earn credits. If you’re seeking quality and flexibility, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are hard to beat. Every month, new schools are jumping on the MOOC bandwagon. And many students are capitalizing on these courses.  Take Laurie Pickard, for example. She figured out how to complete the equivalent of an MBA for under $1000, using free MOOCs from schools like Wharton and Yale. Sure, you can use MOOCs to fill knowledge gaps. But they’re also a way to test your mettle, to see if you’re ready for the rigors of an MBA curriculum.

Last year, Poets&Quants profiled the best MOOCs from the top schools. With the proliferation of MOOCs, we’ve decided to share which courses are being launched every month. And are you in for a treat! On April 20, Wharton’s “rock star” management professor” Stewart D. Friedman comes out with his Better Leader / Richer Life course, to show students how to harmonize their family and work lives. At Stanford, Daniel McFarland is back with his Organizational Analysis MOOC, which drew over 50,000 students in 2012. At Virginia’s Darden School, R. Edward Freeman weighs in with a four-week course entitled New Models of Business in Society which kicks off on April 7th.

Here are over 20 essential business MOOCs that are starting between March 25th and May 1st:

New Models Of Business In Society


School: University of Virginia (Darden)

Source: Coursera

Link: New Models Of Business In Society

Start Date: April 7, 2014 (4 Weeks)

Workload: 2-3 Hours per Week

Instructor: R. Edward Freeman

Credentials: Professor Freeman is a Business Administration and Religious Studies professor at the University of Virginia, where he teaches courses like Business Ethics and Creative Capitalism. Among his leadership roles, Freeman serves as Academic Advisor to the university’s Institute for Practical Ethics and Academic Director of Darden’s Initiative For Practical Ethics. He has also earned teaching awards at Darden, The Wharton School of Business and The University of Minnesota.

Graded: Coursera will issue a Statement of Accomplishment for students who meet course requirements.

Description: In this course, Professor Freeman shares new ideas and business models on how companies are creating value beyond the balance sheet. From conscious capitalism to philanthropy to sustainability, students will learn how businesses can go beyond serving customers and shareholders to sharing benefits with employees, partners and communities. The course includes weekly topic-based video discussions, along with optional reading assignments. At the end of the course, students will create a business model that both generates revenue and makes society better.

Review: “Short, sweet & to the point, delivered by an inspiring, passionate professor. The course may make you think about business in ways that possibly hadn’t occurred to you eg:

Have you ever thought of your customer or your suppliers as STAKEHOLDERS?

What role can business (and individuals) play in ENVIRONMENTALISM?

Is PHILANTHROPY just a PR opportunity for big businesses with big budgets or are there some genuine role models out there?” For additional reviews of this course, click here.

Additional Background: Students can also preview lectures for this course on Coursera. Stanford also offers a Sustainable Product Development course on its NovoEd platform

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