ed teaching2IBiS Academic Director R. Edward Freeman is teaching one of the first massive open online courses, or MOOCs through Coursera, an online education platform.  Registration is free for this six-week course and can be completed here.

“New Models of Business in Society” offers a revolutionary perspective on the role that business plays in society, drawing on Freeman’s development of the field of stakeholder theory.  He examines the emergence of a new story about business, a story that locates business within a societal framework.  A number of new models of business can be built on this idea of business within society such as corporate responsibility, philanthropy, shared value and sustainability.  The course demonstrates that profits and stakeholder value go together.  The final session explores the idea of how to become a stakeholder entrepreneur and create a business that makes money and makes the world a better place.

By offering “New Models of Business in Society” through Coursera, Freeman is allowing students from around the world to have access to the thought leadership that Darden students enjoy.  Freeman is one of the University of Virginia’s most distinguished professors, holding the title of Elis and Signe Olsson Professor of Business Administration, and being the first faculty member in Darden’s history to be named a University Professor.  This rare honor is accorded to less than 20 professors among the more than 2,200 professors at UVA.

The University of Virginia partnered with Coursera in July 2012.  Coursera co-founder Daphne Koller spoke to a room of students, faculty, and staff at Darden that was filled beyond capacity on February 20th as part of the Leadership Speaker Series.  Her talk can be viewed here (55:22).  When asked about potential revenue models, Koller emphasized the importance of keeping the courses free as part of her original mission of expanding access to world-class university classes.  She and her partner Andrew Ng are exploring other ways to generate revenue, including charging for certifications or providing student data (with student consent) to employers for a fee.