NOVEAU ED: Some of the most popular massive open online courses (MOOCs) today imparts neither academic credits nor computer science knowledge. Philanthropy University, which offers a series of courses about “social impact,” shows that making positive change in the world can be a popular subject. Over 200,000 students are enrolled, according to NovoEd, a San Francisco, CA-based MOOC developer that has partnered with UC Berkeley to create the free online program.
Students who complete all seven courses, who cover topics including financial modeling and organizational capacity, will get a certificate in social sector leadership from UC Berkeley-Haas.
The five-year, multi-million dollar project is bankrolled largely by Amr Al-Dabbagh, CEO and chairman of Al-Dabbagh Group, a family-run, Saudi conglomerate. (He is also teaching a course about “Leadership: Ten Rules for Impact and Meaning.”) Other instructors include Kiva co-founder, Jessica Jackley, and Paul Brest, former president of the Hewlett Foundation. Here’s a profile of several students from The New York Times.