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A Collaborative Approach to MOOCs

A new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) provider platform has launched this week and is expected to encourage more engagement among students enrolled than the average MOOC.

NovoEd is another MOOC provider created by a professor at Stanford University. The platform, originally named Venture Lab, was launched by Management Science and Engineering Professor, Amin Saberi and PhD Student, Farnaz Ronaghi. This new platform intends to encourage more collaborative work in small groups, which sets it apart from current MOOC platforms.

In addition to MOOCs, NovoEd also expects to provide a platform for special closed courses with limited enrollment, including executive education programs, which will only be available to Stanford University students.

The NovoEd concept started with an idea to incorporate student group work through an online platform. The launch of an entrepreneurship course through Venture Lab in March 2012 had an estimated 80,000 registered students.

“My hypothesis is that we shouldn’t strip away the social and collaborative side of learning,” Saberi told The Financial Times.

The statistics from the entrepreneurship course indicated that collaborative group work in an online class is a successful method to retaining students and increasing learning outcomes. According to Saberi, approximately 13 percent of students completed the Venture Lab course. Traditional MOOCs typically carry a slightly smaller retention rate of just 10 percent, as reported by Inside Higher Ed.