3 Ways NovoEd is Transforming Project-Based Learning

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Recent innovations in technology which enable people to connect socially can now be used successfully to create experiential learning experiences online. Here are three examples how NovoEd is using these innovations in technology to transform project-based learning:

1. Learners Form Global Teams

The NovoEd learning environment transforms a traditionally localized project-based learning experience into a global one, with students participating from over 150 different countries. In this global community, learners have the opportunity to exchange ideas and develop new understandings, share their global experiences and expertise, and solve real-world problems, all in a team-based and collaborative setting.  NovoEd makes it easy for students to join teams with others with multiple team formation options. Furthermore, student and team profiles help learners identify potential teammates and teams.

For example, in the course Creativity: Music to My Ears, a NovoEd learner leveraged the course’s multinational community by creating a group with the purpose of learning different music and cultures from around the world. In the team summary, the team leader stated: “This team is different from other teams. Each member is from a different country. The reason why I decided to have a team like this is so that we can know the different music cultures that exist.” The team comprised of learners from South Korea, Costa Rica, Australia, the Philippines, Bolivia, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.

2. Learners Develop 21st Century Skills

The ability to collaborate and communicate in an online environment is a critical 21st century skill that is central in today’s workforce (read more about Chuck Eesley’s perspective on online learning). Participants in a NovoEd course learn to lead and work in a team, developing a skill which is transferable to any work environment.  In the NovoEd workspace, learners can use the workspace to brainstorm new ideas, record minutes, schedule meetings, start discussions, work on presentations, and more.  By doing so, participants learn to organize teams, manage assignments, and engage with each other across different cultures, languages, and time-zones.

For example, in Lean for Social Change, a course offered through Acumen, members of the team Amigofy joined the course from the U.S., Germany, Mexico, and United Arab Emirates. They collaborated on a project towards a same vision, to develop a startup (http://www.amigofy.com/) aimed to help nonprofits activate, engage, and retain volunteers through the motivational techniques of gamification. They coordinated different timezones using the NovoEd scheduler. By using working tools such as Google Docs and Google Hangouts on their NovoEd workpage, the team created a successful business plan as their final project assignment whose venture is still ongoing today.

3. Projects are Student-Centered

Research shows that student engagement, achievement, and motivation is highest when their learning experience is personalized. When learners participate in projects that excite them, their intrinsic motivation to learn increases.  On NovoEd, learners can easily start their own projects or choose to join one that excites them most, enhancing the project-based learning experience. They can further customize and individualize their learning experience by connecting prior knowledge towards their project assignment while building new knowledge from the NovoEd course. By encouraging student-centered learning, NovoEd fosters an enthusiastic and passionate learning community where learners uncover creative solutions to interesting problems.

In the course Designing a New Learning Environment, learners formed teams around their educational interest. Children and Languages created a team around their interest in early childhood education. This global team from the U.S., Algeria, Russia, Pakistan, and Portugal designed “a unique learning environment for kids that will enable easier start for the languages learning.”  In another team called, Education in Healthcare, team-members joined to work towards a goal, “to facilitate building an ideal future where all healthcare professionals always strive towards the most effective patient-centered medical care by working collaboratively as a multi-professional team, remaining current in their field and educating all stakeholders including patients, their families and the public.”  Both teams had the opportunity to pursue their passions by meeting like-minded individuals on NovoEd and collaboratively solving real-world problems.

These are just some examples of project-based learning on NovoEd. If you have an example of how NovoEd transformed your project-based learning experience, we would love to hear about it. Please let us know by submitting your story to the NovoEd Student Stories Form!

 

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How Good Business Plans Increase Your Enterprise’s Pobability of Success

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It is easy to write a Business Plan but difficult to write a good one that will help you raise debt or equity financing for your enterprise, act as a guide for everyday management of your business, create a road map for strategy and set standards to measure future performance. A good business plan acts as a filter to assist the entrepreneur in making future decisions which will alter the course of the enterprise. As an entrepreneur you do not just write a business plan once and put it in a drawer. Business is a dynamic process and the future is a moving target. Customers, competitors, products and technology constantly changes and so your business plan needs constant revision.

A successful business plan must be customized based on its purpose and based on the industry. The topics and emphasis of a business plan used to borrow money for an established green grocery store will be different from the topics and emphasis for a business plan used to raise equity from family and friends for a social media start up. It is important to remember that a business plan is dependent on good execution.

A good business plan will help you more realistically assess critical risks and evaluate the assumptions your revenue and cash flow forecast are based on. Business plans help the entrepreneur identify weaknesses, the action and time table for dealing with them, and also your enterprise’s strengths/core capabilities and the action necessary to take advantage of them. A well written business plan makes you think strategically and tactically about not only how to create operational excellence but an efficient and effective marketing and sales program. A business plan forces you to test your ideas with pro forma cash flows to see whether the risk is worth the reward.

This was a special guest post by Professor Robert Calvin, an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship Marketing at the University of Chicago School of Business. Learn more by taking his course, Writing a Successful Business Plan, today here!

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Make history while you learn history

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World History from Princeton’s Jeremy Adelman to Be Taught in a Connected Global Classroom That Anyone in the World Can Join

For the first time in history, it will be possible to study world history in a global classroom, working with learners from different cultures and social backgrounds.

Princeton professor Jeremy Adelman will offer the first Global History Lab synchronously on the Princeton campus and as a MOOC on novoed.com https://novoed.com/global-history-lab

“I am very excited about this course,” says Prof Adelman. ” While I have taught MOOCs several times before, now I will have an opportunity to learn from others! One theme of the course is that events and processes of the past mean different things to different people – what better way to capture these perspectives than in group labs, where students will collaborate on projects and share their insights and findings with the rest.”

The course gives learners the opportunity to form teams with their peers all over the world and work with primary historical materials to create new shared understandings of our shared history.

The case-based method of instruction applied to history, the interaction between Princeton students and learners from around the world, and the use of innovative new collaborative learning technologies are all part of Princeton’s deep commitment to student learning and community.

“Teaching the Global History Lab synchronously to students on-campus and around the world allows us to expand our commitment to student learning,” says Jeff Himpele, Director for Teaching Initiatives and Programs. “Designed to shift the focus from instructor knowledge to student engagement with history, this new collaborative online environment allows us to implement decades of classroom research demonstrating that strategies for intensifying student engagement increase student success, and it offers us new possibilities for improving classroom education at Princeton.”

Are you ready to make history? Sign up today!

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3D Printing on NovoEd! – Guest Post by Mark Cotteleer, Research Director, Deloitte

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Do you know how additive manufacturing will impact your business?

By now, nearly everyone has heard the term 3D printing, or to use the more technically accurate term, additive manufacturing (AM). A quick search on Google brings up more than 70,000 news articles on this intriguing set of technologies. While it is fun to talk about printing cakes, spaceships, and even new noses, it can be hard to separate the reality from the hype and understand how businesses can use this technology to support success. During our MOOC, 3D opportunity: The course on additive manufacturing for business leaders, we aim to facilitate that discussion and prepare course participants to lead that discussion in their organizations.

AM is an important technical innovation with roots that date more than 30 years. So, why has the strategic relevance risen sharply? In recent years, AM technologies have reached a level of maturity that increasingly allows for the existence of value-added commercial applications. Some see AM as an innovation driver that can literally transform manufacturing industries over the next decade. There are four paths companies can follow to derive value from AM. A key aim for our course is to help participants understand these paths and the drivers that influence them:

• Path I: Companies will not radically alter supply chains or end products but the time and cost saving potential of AM is definitely worth exploration for select processes.
• Path II: Companies take advantage of scale economics offered as a potential enabler of supply chain transformation for the products they offer.
• Path III: Companies take advantage of scope economics offered to achieve new levels of performance or innovation in the products they offer.
• Path IV: Companies alter both supply chains and products in pursuit of new business models.

It’s important to point out that AM is not a panacea. It will not replace traditional manufacturing methods in all circumstances and some organizations will find there is not a place for AM in their business strategy. For a multitude of organizations, however, additive manufacturing will provide the potential to innovate, grow, and achieve improved performance. Managers and executives responsible for strategy, operations, innovation, R&D, supply chain, and more need to understand the basics of AM technologies and the future impact AM may have in their sector and for their business. We hope you’ll join us as we explore this in detail during the MOOC. For more on AM, I invite you to view our 3D opportunity research collection.

- Mark Cotteleer, Research Director, Deloitte

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