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Stanford Online – new MBA MOOCs

World-class academic powerhouse Stanford is leading the way in the MOOC revolution.  They offer a diverse range of classes on both business and non-business topics.  Stanford also splits their MOOC courses on various platforms including Coursera and NovoEd, so you have the chance to experience more than one MOOC platform as well.  I highly recommend some of Stanford’s online business classes for your self study MBA projects.

Stanford Online

1. Course title:  Organizational Analysis (self-paced)

  • Link to course
  • Professor: Daniel McFarland
  • MOOC Platform: Coursera
  • Course Description:In this introductory, self-paced course, you will learn multiple theories of organizational behavior and apply them to actual cases of organizational change.It is hard to imagine living in modern society without participating in or interacting with organizations. The ubiquity and variability of organizations means there is ample room for complexity and confusion in the organizational challenges we regularly face. Through this course, students will consider cases describing various organizational struggles: school systems and politicians attempting to implement education reforms; government administrators dealing with an international crisis; technology firms trying to create a company ethos that sustains worker commitment; and even two universities trying to gain international standing by performing a merger.Each case is full of details and complexity. So how do we make sense of organizations and the challenges they face, let alone develop means of managing them in desired directions? While every detail can matter, some matter more than others. This is why we rely on organizational theories — to focus our attention and draw out relevant features in a sensible way.

    Through this self-paced course you will come to see that there is nothing more practical than a good theory. In every module, you’ll learn a different organizational theory, and it will become a lens through which you can interpret concrete organizational situations. Armed with a toolset of theories, you will then be able to systematically identify important features of an organization and the events transforming it – and use the theories to predict which actions will best redirect the organization in a desired direction.

 

2.  Course title:  Social and Economic Networks: Models and Analysis

  • Link to course
  • Professor: Matthew O. Jackson
  • MOOC Platform: Coursera
  • Course Description:
Social networks pervade our social and economic lives.   They play a central role in the transmission of information about job opportunities and are critical to the trade of many goods and services. They are important in determining which products we buy, which languages we speak, how we vote, as well as whether or not we decide to become criminals, how much education we obtain, and our likelihood of succeeding professionally.   The countless ways in which network structures affect our well-being make it critical to understand how social network structures impact behavior, which network structures are likely to emerge in a society, and why we organize ourselves as we do.  This course provides an overview and synthesis of research on social and economic networks, drawing on studies by sociologists, economists, computer scientists, physicists, and mathematicians.
The course begins with some empirical background on social and economic networks, and an overview of concepts used to describe and measure networks.   Next, we will cover a set of models of how networks form, including random network models as well as strategic formation models, and some hybrids.   We will then discuss a series of models of how networks impact behavior, including contagion, diffusion, learning, and peer influences.

3.  Course title:  Technology Entrepreneurship (Part 2)

  • Link to course
  • Professor: Chuck Eesley
  • MOOC Platform: NovoEd
  • Course Description:

This is the second half of a course that introduces the fundamentals of technology entrepreneurship, pioneered in Silicon Valley and now spreading across the world. Last time, nearly 40,000 students from around the world participated and worked in teams together. The top teams were matched with Silicon Valley mentors, and the best teams at the end of the class pitched their ideas to investors. Many of the alumni of the last class are continuing to build their startups and will be mentoring teams this time. By the conclusion of the course, it is our hope that you understand how to: – Articulate a process for taking a technology idea and finding a high-potential commercial opportunity (high performing students will be able to discuss the pros and cons of alternative theoretical models). – Create and verify a plan for gathering resources such as talent and capital. – Create and verify a business model for how to sell and market an entrepreneurial idea. – Generalize this process to an entrepreneurial mindset of turning problems into opportunities that can be used in larger companies and other settings.

I also highly recommend joining the Stanford Online email list, as they do a good job of sending out new course notifications and updates about course offerings.  Alternatively, you could always just check back here and I will try to post the latest MBA MOOC news and online MBA courses on homemademba.com!

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