The difference between online and brick-and-mortar courses has been clear since I got to The U, as I’ll call it (don’t worry, football fans –I don’t mean The University of Miami). I’m still in the hectic registration period known as “course-shopping,” where students enroll in as many courses as possible, and drop the ones they don’t like. The problem for me is, I didn’t decide to come here until the last minute, so I got a late start on enrolling. When I finally did get to choose my classes, I found that the one I was most hoping to take, “Entrepreneurship,” which has students write an in-depth business model, isn’t being offered this semester. Worse, the online course description didn’t list the textbook, so I couldn’t learn on my own even if I wanted to.
Luckily, there was another interesting class being offered this semester, a more theoretical version of the class I was hoping to take. Unluckily, however, I ended up #37 on the waitlist. As a non-business major, I had zero chance of getting into this course either.
Still, I didn’t end the week without actually enrolling in one honest-to-God entrepreneurship course. The5-week course is called “Launch Your Startup Idea for Less than $1,000”, and is taught on Skillshare by the company’s co-founder and CEO, Michael Karnjanaprakorn. The course is the first “Hybrid Class” offered by Skillshare, which had previously focused solely on in-person courses. Like the class at The U I was hoping to enroll in, “Launch Your Startup” requires students to write a business model for an original idea. In our first lesson, Michael (“Professor Karnjanaprakorn” doesn’t sound right) gave an outline of the course and assignments via webcam. He encouraged us to talk with each other about our ideas and strategies, and we are. Less than a week after the course began, there are 138 different discussions, and a large number of in-person meetups.
On the first day of the course, Michael also gave us access to all of the resources used in class, as well as a 10-page project brief that provided a template for each of the 4 assignments. Of the resources I’ve read so far, “Pitching Hacks”, an advice guide for new startups by Venture Hacks, has been the most valuable.
Well, that’s all for now. Time to go work on my first Skillshare assignment, which is to submit a first draft of an MVP. My original idea was just to submit the word “Kobe”, but apparently MVP also means “minimal viable product.” Stay tuned to this column for future updates. Oh, and I’d love to hear about your own learning stories, online and off, below.