What happens after the MOOC ends?
Nine months ago, Andreea Pavel started Coursera’s MOOC Creativity, Innovation and Change. Today, she is starting a company.
It started with a MOOC
A sticking point for MOOC stakeholders is judging what impact the courses actually have. For the fraction of students who complete the course, what happens next? Andreea’s story demonstrates what’s possible. She credits the MOOC and its professors with helping her to organize and structure her ideas to the point where she could take action.
“Professor Jack Matson is one of the three professors from Penn State University who designed the MOOC Creativity, Innovation and Change course,” Andreea wrote in a personal essay. “But for me he was the one who helped me to better understand a very important thing for my life: that failure and how this happens has nothing to do with self-esteem.”
Even in a virtual course, Professors still matter
Andreea read the course textbook in three days and made some immediate changes. She decided to be more organized with her thoughts and start keeping an idea journal. The support from her professors is what encouraged her to go further:
“For me it was remarkable how close and dedicated Jack Matson was to me and to his students. In my last five years of higher education I haven’t found any teacher so involved in his activity with his students.”
From light-bulb to light of day
The main idea she wanted to take forward was Successify. Successify is a pre-startup mentorship programme for aspiring entrepreneurs. She had the opportunity to present her idea to her 120 000 classmates and get their feedback. Throughout the course, Andreea refined her idea and gained confidence. Since then, she has turned Successify into a functioning business with a co-founder and three other team members.
“I discovered that an idea needed so many things to be able to move from that light-bulb stage to seeing the light of day,” Andreea wrote.