Launched on September 1, IESE’s new online management program is already off to a flying start, attracting 85,000 learners in under two months.
A series of five MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) available on Coursera, the IESE Foundations of Management Specialization program has also received outstanding feedback from participants, with an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5.
The five modules are designed to cover the basics of business management, including accounting, finance, marketing and leadership. The last is a CAPSTONE-based decision analysis project, where students apply their new learnings to a real-world business dilemma.
So far so good – in the context of Coursera generally, ratings for content, engagement and overall reviews have been above average. But the program has been exceptionally well received when compared to other management focused education on the online platform.
The specialization is aimed at aspiring MBA candidates, professionals with limited experience, entrepreneurs and anyone seeking knowledge to help them achieve their personal career goals. This is reflected in the breadth of the current intake – spanning students to professionals, and undergraduates to doctorates.
“It concentrates on the learning of the fundamentals,” says one learner. “A must-do for anyone coming from a non-business background. It’s a very good review for business majors.”
Designed to fit into the varied lives of its students, the individual courses run on demand and are open for enrollment at any time. A new cohort begins every two weeks. Unlike the other MOOCs, Foundations of Management is taught in four-week blocks periodically. So, each month, users have access to a new module.
Offered digitally, the program also enables a wide geographical reach – with students signing up from all six continents, most notably Asia, Europe, the US and, to a lesser extent, Africa. This initial success is a good sign of things to come. Indeed, in a recent Financial Times interview, Prof. Franz Heukamp commented that the digitization of learning is one of the challenges he would like to address during his deanship. “We believe that the best learning methodology is personal interaction and discussion in class but we have also witnessed the benefits of blended and new learning technologies,” he says.
Going forward, the plan is to make the program even more accessible by offering it in other languages. The Spanish version is due to launch in early 2017, putting IESE at the leading edge of bilingual education of this kind.