LBS, Wake Forest and Georgetown are turning their B-schools into, well, college.

The philosophy department is invading the M.B.A. program—at least at a handful of schools where the legacy of the global financial crisis has sparked efforts to train business students to think beyond the bottom line. Courses like “Why Capitalism?” and “Thinking about Thinking,” and readings by Marx and Kant, give students a break from Excel spreadsheets and push them to ponder business in a broader context, schools say….

“Nobel Thinking,” a new elective at London Business School explores the origins and influence of economic theories on topics like market efficiency and decision-making by some Nobel Prize winners. The 10-week course—taught by faculty from the school’s economics, finance and organizational behavior departments—might not make students the next James Watson or Francis Crick, but it aims to give them a sense of how revolutionary ideas arise….

Students write narrative essays to explain how ideas—such as adverse selection, or what happens when buyers and sellers have access to different information—gain currency. Joao Montez, the economics professor leading Nobel Thinking, says he wants students to reflect, if only for a short while, on world-changing thought.

Wharton, of course, is having none of that nonsense. I mean, if people wanted to read Marx (after they pay for it, of course), there’s a political science department a few steps down Locust Walk. But it’s happy to give people a sneak peak at what a real M.B.A. education looks like.

The school introduced its first MOOC, as they are known, in 2012, setting out on an ambitious plan to reach millions of new students. The free classes, in subjects like financial accounting and marketing, don’t carry any credit toward a Wharton degree, but they have given about 1.1 million participants a taste of academic life at the elite institution and a chance to learn basic business skills.

It’s perhaps the most coordinated effort at any business school. Wharton will have 15 MOOCs on the Coursera Inc. education-technology platform by year-end, including four “Foundation Series” courses introduced last fall and modeled on sections of its first-year M.B.A. curriculum.

The school is still learning how best to translate its on-campus offerings to the Web, but officials say the venture has already strengthened the brand and delivered an edge over competitors in an area that could ultimately upend traditional M.B.A. programs….

Each online class costs the school $20,000 to $50,000 to create, depending on the professor’s involvement in production and editing. University of Pennsylvania gets a small share of the revenue MOOC provider Coursera gets through its $49 student-verification certificate, and Wharton takes a portion of that.

Why Some M.B.A.s Are Reading Plato [WSJ]
With Free Web Courses, Wharton Seeks Edge in Traditional Programs [WSJ]

18 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (18)

  1. Posted by Guest | May 1, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    It's a sneak PEEK. Unless one of the Himalayas has gotten stealthy.

    Dumbass.

  2. Posted by The Centaur | May 1, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    Suck and fuck is always on the table.

  3. Posted by Ogler | May 1, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    Mandy in Green. Mmmmmmmmm.

  4. Posted by CBRE | May 1, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    Georgetown, is known for having male on male cuddling sessions. Professors say it helps with group bonding and has engaged in cuddling himself. In fact they have found it so beneficial that they will cancel classes and have cuddling scrimmages. That’s why Georgetown gets so many applications from California, but not so well from the state of Alabama.

  5. Posted by Guest | May 1, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    Because, as we all know, people from the state of Alabama would much rather cuddle with their sisters.

  6. Posted by Galveston Secure | May 1, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    I'm from Texas and we fuck everything.

  7. Posted by Shaz's beard | May 1, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    Shaz is a MOOC

  8. Posted by Stamford Smirl | May 1, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    Stop saying fuck so much. It's making my fucking gums bleed.

  9. Posted by DingALing | May 1, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    MOOCs are moochin' ooff MBA degrees. bastards

  10. Posted by Captain Oblivious | May 1, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    New class being offered: Biz School: Outdated Concept or complete god damn waste of money

    I think its a pass/fail

  11. Posted by Guest | May 1, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    Wharton will have up to 15 MOOCS by the end of the year including Intro to Investment Banking which consists of participants submitting a series of meaningless PowerPoint presentations then joining a video chat with a Wharton MBA who repeatedly tells them to "change the formatting and have it on my desk by 7am" while fiddling with his blackberry and telling someone off-camera about the poon he's going to slay that evening at some hot new place in the meat packing district.

  12. Posted by Guest | May 1, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    R U (486) Lost, Bro?

  13. Posted by Captain Oblivious | May 1, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    Im Captain Oblivious and I approve this message

  14. Posted by guest | May 1, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    Glad to see I'm not the only one that thought MOOC had derogatory connotations.

  15. Posted by Guest | May 1, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    Taste like chicken keep on lickin', tastes like trout, back the eff out!

  16. Posted by guest | May 1, 2014 at 4:32 PM

    8) people that make lists

  17. Posted by Guest | May 1, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    9) people that add to other people's lists

  18. Posted by M. Scorsese | May 1, 2014 at 6:13 PM

    "We're not paying cuz this guy's a mooc."