Distance Learning

Stanford Takes New Executive Innovation Training Program Online

Stanford University, which has long been in the business of training industry leaders, is offering a new online model for its executive learning programs. The Stanford Graduate School of Business is introducing a certificate program, "Stanford LEAD Certificate: Corporate Innovation," that uses video lecture, online discussions, group projects and live interaction with faculty members to help cohorts of students "learn, engage, accelerate and disrupt" or "LEAD" change within their organizations.

The program consists of eight courses over 200 hours and costs $16,000. Content will include personal development tools, direct faculty access, workshops, live-streamed Stanford events, interactive exercises and experiential and project-based activities. The program is designed to be completed within a year, at a pace of two courses per quarter and about five hours of school work each week. Successful students will earn a paper certificate and a digital badge for use on their LinkedIn profiles and elsewhere.

The new model launches with a focus on corporate innovation, intended to help participants develop the skills they need to identify high-value ideas for their businesses and overcome organizational barriers for pursuing those new projects and products.

The program includes foundational courses covering Financing Innovation: Creating Value, Critical Analytical Thinking and Strategic Leadership. Then students will choose from among several electives, such as Design Thinking: Building Brands Inside Out, doing internal innovation, designing business models and using neuroscience to influence behavior.

Over the next several years, the school expects to offer other certificate tracks using the same model as this one. The courses will be delivered through NovoEd, an online learning management system that incorporates collaboration technology.

"Developing an online pedagogy gave us the freedom to think anew about how people can best learn, retain, and use this material," said Peter DeMarzo, faculty director for Educational Technology at Stanford's Graduate School of Business. "We've created a Stanford experience that people can digest on their own turf, at their own pace and apply in real time."

Applications are open now through March 25, 2015. The program will begin on May 5, 2015. Applicants, who may be located anywhere in the world, are being asked to upload a short video about why they want to be in the program and where in their organization they hope to implement change. No more than 100 participants will be admitted to the first 2015 cohort.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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