The University of Virginia Darden School of Business will offer its second free massive open online course (MOOC) through the online learning pioneer Coursera. Darden professor and executive director of Darden's Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Michael Lenox will teach "Foundations of Business Strategy." Beginning Monday, 4 March 2013, the six-week course will give participants the tools to think strategically and determine how a business can best create value for its various stakeholders. So far, more than 12,000 people have registered for the MOOC.
"I'm excited about helping people become strategic decision-makers and develop ideas within their companies," said Lenox. "In this course, aspiring business leaders will learn how to analyze and predict forces within an industry, assess an organization's unique capabilities and determine the best course forward for an organization."
Lenox, who was named one of 2011's top 40 business professors under 40 by Poets & Quants, will open the course with a lesson in strategic analysis and the impact that competitive markets have on business success. During the weeks to follow, participants will examine industry structures and forces and learn how firms compete in multiple markets. To gain perspective, participants will read cases involving companies such as Google, Apple and Disney. The course will conclude with the submission of a brief strategic analysis of an assigned firm, which will serve as the final exam.
"The course format will include video lectures, quizzes and discussions," Lenox added. "While it's not required, we also recommend that participants reference the book The Strategist's Toolkit, which was created for the First Year strategy MBA course from which the 'Foundations of Business Strategy' course was derived."
The Strategist's Toolkit will be available through Darden Business Publishing.
There are no prerequisites needed to take the course "Foundations of Business Strategy." The course is designed to benefit all who are interested in the behavior and performance of business. Participants will gain knowledge and an understanding of what it takes to create value within organizations.
"This course offers the fundamental tools to be an effective strategic analyst. We hope the offering inspires participants to seek the next level of understanding when it comes to using strategy in business development," said Lenox.
"Online learning and teaching represent critical new opportunities for Darden and for higher education in general." said Professor Peter Rodriguez, senior associate dean for degree programs. "We are enthusiastic to learn by doing as we experiment with the best methods of online teaching. Our partnership with Coursera allows us to do this while freely sharing Darden expertise for the global good."
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About the Darden School of Business
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business is one of the world's leading business schools, offering MBA, Ph.D. and Executive Education programs. The unique Darden experience combines the case study method, the highest-ranked faculty whose research advances global managerial practice and business education, and a tight-knit learning environment to develop principled and complete leaders who are ready to make an impact.