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NovoEd: The Key to MOOC Success

De notre correspondante aux Etats-Unis, Jessica Gourdon, Translated by Nina Fink
Publié le
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Depuis sa création en 2012, NovoEd a levé 5 millions de dollars et rassemblé 33.000 inscrits, dont 10.000 ont terminé leur projet.
In just two years, 450 courses have been created through NovoEd. // ©  Jessica Gourdon

How do you prevent students from dropping out of Moocs? For the California-based startup NovoEd, the answer is teamwork. Thanks to NovoEd’s Mooc platform, students across the globe are working together on team projects and finishing their Moocs in unprecedented numbers.

Moocs suffer from chronic dropout rates. Merely 8% of students who sign up complete their course, according to the latest study published by Harvard and edX. NovoEd, a San Francisco startup with a staff of 30, plans to change all that through collaborative Moocs. The startup has made a strong start. In just two years, 450 courses have been created through NovoEd.

The Story of NovoEd

Like Coursera, NovoEd started at Stanford. In 2012, Farnaz Ronaghi, Matt Glickman and Amin Saberi bet on the idea of a Mooc based on team projects. The fact that 10,000 of the 33,000 people who signed up finished their project proved them right. Thus was born NovoEd, a startup with $5 million in funds raised to date.

In Chuck Eesley's technology entrepreneurship class at Stanford, 45% of his students completed his NovoEd Mooc. Alison Murphy, Director of Partner Development at NovoEd, notes, "Our completion rate is close to five times higher than the rate of the most successful traditional Moocs."

NovoEd sells access to its platform but does not create its own courses. Its clients range from universities such as the University of Virginia and the University College of London to companies like Unilever. While certain NovoEd Moocs are open to the public, most of the company's clients use the platform either to train their employees or to teach their own students. They can choose to either pay a flat fee for platform access or share a portion of their course fees with NovoEd.

The Secret Ingredient

For the company's founders, the team projects are the key to the courses' success. The platform also uses experiential learning and peer learning to keep students committed. NovoEd's instructional designers help professors craft the highly collaborative courses.

For Alison Murphy, NovoEd is the next generation of Moocs: courses that really engage their students and offer them additional services. Murphy adds, "When schools ask their students to pay for Moocs, they have to offer them something new."

Read the article (in French)


De notre correspondante aux Etats-Unis, Jessica Gourdon, Translated by Nina Fink | Publié le

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