Earlier this year University of Virginia Darden School of Business Professor Ed Hess debuted the School's first massive open online course (MOOC) - "Grow to Greatness: Smart Growth for Private Businesses, Part 1." The Coursera course opened its first day with more than 31,000 students participating in the initial class. Of this number, 10,260 finished the end of the course - a major success by MOOC retention standards.
With the excitement generated by the first course, Hess is eager to begin the second on Monday, 29 April.
"The quality of student conversations on the discussion forums and their work product in the workshops exceeded my expectations," said Hess. "It was a rich and rewarding experience for me, and I look forward to the second course."
One student from Europe expressed his appreciation to Hess via e-mail. "Hello, Ed. I want to thank you so much for the fantastic course. I am a 54-year-old entrepreneur in Europe, with 60 people on the payroll. I wish I had done your course 20 years ago. Very practical, and it really provokes you to think."
"'Grow to Greatness: Smart Growth for Private Businesses, Part 2,' focuses on the leadership and people challenges of growing a business," said Hess. "Modules include 'The Entrepreneur Must Grow, Too!' delving into the challenges of learning to delegate, managing employees, leading managers and ultimately mentoring a senior management team. Another module explores how an entrepreneur creates a culture and environment that result in high employee engagement that drives high productivity and loyalty, as well as high customer satisfaction."
The course covers the alignment of culture, human resource policies, measurements and rewards, using real case studies on high-performance private companies including: Barbara Lynch Gruppo (Boston, Massachusetts), Room & Board (Minneapolis, Minnesota) and Trilogy Health Services (Louisville, Kentucky).
"Too many entrepreneurs underestimate the difficulty of hiring, training and retaining the right employees," concluded Hess. "In most cases, it takes people to grow a business."
To sign up for "Grow to Greatness: Smart Growth for Private Businesses, Part 2," visit https://www.coursera.org/#course/GTG.
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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 responsible and complete leaders who are ready to make an impact.
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