Starting Oct. 14, the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) will launch its first massive open online course (MOOC) called The Finance of Retirement and Pensions.
The free public course, to be taught by professor of finance Joshua Rauh, is part of the GSB’s overall strategy to use technology to enhance the teaching and learning experience on campus, as well as have a larger global impact.
“We definitely view this inaugural MOOC as a testing ground for us, and so wanted to push the boundaries of what a MOOC could do by enriching the ways in which participants can engage with one another and with faculty member Joshua Rauh,” said Garth Saloner, dean of the GSB, in an email statement to The Daily.
The GSB has previously implemented its technology-driven plan in its use of the flipped classroom model, where students are expected to learn basic material outside of class time and then practice and apply their knowledge in the classroom.
Students in the new eight-week online course will “learn the financial concepts behind sound retirement plan investment and pension fund management,” according to the class website.
“If you’re in the workforce now and you’re thinking that you need a long term financial plan for retirement, then the tools in this course are going to be really useful for you,” Rauh said in the introductory course video.
Rauh’s class expects its students to spend between four to six hours a week on the course and will present statements of accomplishments when students perform satisfactorily and upon completion of the course.
In January, the class will culminate in an interactive symposium about the challenges of the U.S. pension system featuring MOOC students presenting ideas for pension reform to a panel of distinguished faculty and experts. The expenses for this symposium will be covered by the GSB in collaboration with the Hoover Institution.
The MOOC will be hosted on the NovoEd online learning platform. The course’s design execution was done with the help of the GSB’s 15-person academic technology team, led by Ranga Jayaraman, the GSB’s chief information officer.
“The primary reason for choosing NovoEd is that it provides a number of facilities or capabilities in order to support a group of people coming together, and working on problems or projects in a collaborative way,” Jayaraman said.
The instructional course videos were created by using the GSB’s in-house video production facilities, which are open to use for the school’s faculty.
Jayaraman explained that in addition to the recorded components of the course, there will be a live news-style webcast of Rauh and other experts in the field of finance.
“Other faculty members have expressed interest in the MOOC format, but we do not have a schedule as of yet,” Saloner said.
Aside from the MOOC course, the GSB is employing other distance education technologies for a certificate program in innovation and entrepreneurship called Stanford Ignite.
This nine-week certificate program was launched in Bangalore, India, and Paris, France. Additionally, the GSB, in collaboration with the Stanford School of Engineering, is offering a joint online certificate program in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which is open to “anyone anywhere in the world,” Saloner said.
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