The Open Mind innovative gamified course attracted more than 1100 learners to social entrepreneurship.
The 2-year Erasmus+ project is coming now to its end. It opened the doors of social entrepreneurial knowledge to female learners and adults with diverse background in 5 European countries.
Two years after the start of the Open Mind project, the project partnership showed the results and outcomes of the initiative during the final events in all partner countries. The project involves 8 organizations from 5 European countries - the VUZF University of Finance, Business and Entrepreneurship, the Business Foundation for Education, “D.A.Tsenov” Academy of Economics and the technological company 11235 Ltd from Bulgaria; the Institute of Entrepreneurship Development in Greece, the University of Lodz - Poland, University Titu Maioerescu - Romania and the University of Sheffield, UK. They developed together an innovative massive open online course (MOOC) “Introduction to the Social Entrepreneurship”, especially targeting women, adult learners and students from diverse fields of study, with the aim to improve access and attract more people to entrepreneurship.
The MOOC contains 8 modules which will introduce the learners to various topics - Basics in social economy and entrepreneurship, Business Management, Legal Framework, The Business Model Canvas, Social enterprise marketing, Fundraising, Business plan writing and Social projects. The gamified learning platform is accessible in English, Bulgarian, Greek, Polish and Romanian on http://platform.open-mind-project.eu/. The game elements, incorporated in the platform, create an engaging and exciting learning experience with overall duration of 75 hours of study (3 ECTS credits).
After training of 60 mentors and piloting with 120 students and adult learners, the Open Mind gamified online course officially started in March 2018. Although it aimed to attract at least 600 participant, more than 1100 learners have taken part in it. The impact assessment report, based on ex-ante and ex-post survey of students, shows very high satisfaction from the course content and game design. Learners estimate highly the support provided by mentors and the open format, allowing them to take the modules in their own pace and preferred order. The self-reported efficacy regarding social entrepreneurship, in terms of idea, knowledge and attitude as a result of the course is also very high. 98% percent of participants consider that the course improved their knowledge of social entrepreneurship and their multidisciplinary/soft skills. As the variety of social entrepreneurship ideas deposited on the learning platform demonstrate, the MOOC has unlocked the creativity of students and has managed to increase their self-esteem and startup intention. At the end of the course, around 60% of the participants declared that they consider creating a startup or a social enterprise in the following 6 months.
“I am very interested to the project and course, as I am a career consultant at the 2nd Second Chance School of Trikala (based in Trikala’s prison).”
“I managed to finish the modules and the certificate is already saved in my achievements folder. I liked the materials very much and I think the resources are extremely useful for a wide range of domains. I am sure they will be of further use for me, especially since I can access them at any given time. The platform is extremely friendly, it invites involvement and a little bit of “competitiveness”. Congratulations, the project is awesome and I hope it will be accessed by as many students as possible. I am glad I had this opportunity and I am very thankful for all your help in the process.” (Anca, female learner from Romania)
“I never really thought about setting up my own business before I saw this [MOOC] but I did enjoy today when we started to think of business ideas on things that I care about like climate change and art”(Student from Sheffield)
“Thank you so much for coming into the College to work with our students. Enterprise and entrepreneurship and the skills associated with it are really important for our students now and this is an important area for the college to be looking into. We look forward to exploring how we can work together again on this in the future.”(Tracey Haigh; Programme Manager 16+ Art and Design)
“Creative arts students tend to be naturally creative but it is important that we direct them to the different arenas that they can apply this skill. Social entrepreneurship is a good way for them to not only use their art and design skills but to also think about the breadth of creativity and how it can be used across many different sectors and disciplines.” (Kerry Fernandez; Art and Design Lecturer 18+ Art and Design)
The gamified open online course will continue after the end of the project, with more than 70 new learners who already enrolled in October 2018. During the final meeting the project consortium discussed various ideas of multiplying and sustaining the results.
As an acknowledgment for the quality implementation of the project, Open Mind was awarded by the Human Resource Development Centre - the Bulgarian national Erasmus+ agency. Mario Kamenov, the Open Mind project coordinator, received the award on behalf of the consortium.
Get on board on http://platform.open-mind-project.eu/bg/login. For more news, follow the Open Mind website and our Facebook page, which has more than 530 page fans and followers from 35 countries globally!
Project No: 2016-1-BG01-KA203-023754
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.