Inside iversity

Going into the new year, iversity stirs anticipation in the media. Internet technologies and MOOCs and elearning hold great promise and land at the top of the 2014 predicted trends list. Take a look at 4 noteworthy 2014 predictions that include iversity! 

Image: bigstockphoto.com

1. iversity as a top startup

Venture Village editor, Michelle Kuepper, puts iversity on her list of 5 startups to keep an eye on in 2014. While still growing, iversity reveals the hunger for MOOCs in Europe and proves to be a potentially big player in the world of free online learning.

2. MOOC market will grow

On the DZone, Erich Styger looks into the crystal ball and places e-learning in 6th place out of 10 predictions for 2014. MOOC platforms like iversity will continue to gain momentum, not replacing the traditional university but supporting education systems as a whole. 

3. E-learning in the top 10 for the digital 2014

In 7th place out of 10, Austrian newspaper, the Tagesanzeiger, sees online learning merging the urge to learn and play online. Mobile learning apps and free MOOC platforms like iversity will fuel the trend of learning, not just gaming, online.

4. Keep an eye on iversity Managing Director Hannes Klöpper

iversity co-founder and Managing Director, Hannes Klöpper, is in the top 40 people to look out for in 2014, according to the Deutschland-made-by-mittelstand Handelsblatt. Since the foundation of iversity in 2011 with Jonas Liepmann, through the successful launch in October 2013 and along with big goals for 2014, Hannes Klöpper is a big contender in e-learning developments, and he’s on the rise.

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Now that we’ve looked back, it’s time to look forward. We already know that there’s a lot to be accomplished in 2014, so now we present iversity’s 4 New Year's Resolutions:

Happy New Year! (Image: bigstockphoto.com)

1. 100 courses, 1 million users

Who says you can’t be extra ambitious with your resolutions? iversity shoots for the sky with its goal for 2015: 100 courses, 1 million users

2. More ECTS Credits

Accessing free education with MOOCs is one thing, but having the chance to earn credits takes online learning to the next level. Being based in Europe, iversity has the chance to offer ECTS credits and fully intends to make this happen in even more courses, along with more ways to take and submit the exam!

3. An ever-improving platform

One could easily argue that iversity’s product team is the busiest. Whether or not this is true, it can certainly be said that the platform is constantly being improved. Applying state-of-the-art tools, fixing bugs and adding new features are at the top of the 2014 task list. We also invite you to share your wishes and ideas with us, so that we can continue to improve your learning experience! 

4. To keep spreading the word!

Making high-quality, university-level education accessible to all is the core of iversity’s mission. With the coming Ambassador rounds and new campaigns, as well as continuing to expand the platform and social media, the next year will continue the mission to give more people worldwide the chance to take full advantage of free academic education! 

We invite you to follow the blog, Facebook, Twitter and subscribe to the newsletter (sign up found near the bottom of our homepage) to stay informed as 2014 unfolds. Hey, it’s free, so there’s no risk involved!

Thank you for helping us make 2013 a great year! We are anxious to get started on our list and invite you to join us for the ride. We wish you all success and happiness in 2014!

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As the year comes to a close, we want to take a moment and look back on all that has happened in 2013. It has been an exciting year and there’s a lot to remember, so let’s recount the major milestones.

Seasons greetings from Berlin! (Image: bigstockphoto.com)

1. iversity MOOC Fellowship programme

Approaching April 2013, iversity set off to conquer “MOOCademia” and attract the best professors and courses to be offered on the platform. The MOOC Fellowship programme awarded the 10 best applications 25,000 euros each for the MOOC production. It was a huge success, and brought an unanticipated number of 256 applications.

2. Building the Platform

Going into 2013, iversity faced the task of having an active MOOC platform online by October. A state-of-the-art platform, courses and users were all that were needed. Not an easy task. However, the passion and enthusiasm within the company made everyone ready to work hard, right from the get-go, and therefore, iversity experienced a successful market entry.

3. The first courses

The fellowship winners, as well as some who did not, gave iversity an incredible base for its first courses. This also lead to valuable collaboration with the professors and iversity’s MOOC Kick-Off Workshop in June.

4. ECTS credits

Setting iversity apart from its US counterparts, iversity was the first ever MOOC program to offer credits. Taking advantage of the educational market conditions created by the Bologna Process and ECTS, a European MOOC platform proves to offer great opportunities for online learners. Currently, iversity has 3 courses (all in German) that offer ECTS credits: Fundamentals of Marketing, Algorithms and Data Structures and Introduction to Business Studies. More to come!

5. An unprecedented launch online

In the blink of an eye, 15 October came and iversity went online! With over 100,000 enrolled users and 24 courses, iversity proved to be a big player in the MOOC world and the biggest in Europe!

6. Successful courses and user experience

Since the launch, courses have attracted thousands of students. The user base rises steadily each day and new courses continue to be added to the platform. The most popular MOOC this year have been The Future of Storytelling, with over 85,000 enrolled students, followed by Design 101 and Public Privacy, each with over 30,000 enrolled students.

Season’s greetings to the iversity community!

Now, as a great year comes to an end, we are thrilled to start the next. Stay tuned – read about iversity’s 2014 New Year’s Resolutions and learn more about what is to come. From professors to students, thank you to everyone who joined us for the ride and for all the support! We couldn’t have done it without you!

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Meet the winners of our Ambassador Programme – the 10 iversitarians who most successfully spread the word about our courses and encouraged the most friends to join them in their learning endeavor on iversity.org. We are thrilled by the great diversity of world regions, cultures and learning interests that they reflect. You are going to hear more about and from them right here on our blog in the near future!

We are floored by the enthusiasm of the Ambassadors, first by spreading the word about our courses, and now by sending us information about who they are to share with you. We created a world map, giving them a face and a story, so check it out!

Ambassador Map 2

So (drumroll…) – Please welcome our Ambassadors!

01 Sagar AryalSagar Aryal (23, Nepal): Sagar is from Kathmandu and working on a Master’s degree in microbiology. He enrolled in the iversity course “DNA – From Structure to Therapy” and can’t wait for it to start. He seized the time until the start of the course on 5 April 2014 to refer his friends to iversity. Sagar is very aware that online education can contribute to his country’s scientific and economic advancement by closing gaps in Nepal’s university system.

04 Syed Mohsin Raza Bokhari_newSyed Mohsin Raza Bokhari (27, Pakistan): Lahore is well-known as the cultural and educational capital of Pakistan and features a long list of public and private educational institutions. With an estimated 10 million inhabitants, this metropolis is where Syed Mohsin Raza comes from. Like Sagar, he also is a biologist. Syed Mohsin Raza uses his knowledge to spread awareness about infectious diseases in Pakistan through his non-profit organisation “Awareness For All (AFA)”.

09 Francisco Manuel da Costa

Francisco Manuel da Costa (45, Portugal): Portugal has always been a center for voyagers and sailors. Francisco is a traveller, too. He has spent a lot of time in Portugal, Brazil and Angola – the largest Portuguese-speaking (or “Lusophone”) countries in the world – and works as a content curator who promotes e-learning. He has been involved in online education and distance learning since 1999 – a MOOC expert, you could say.

10 Johnn Four

Johnn Four (“40ish”, Canada): Johnn lives near the city of Edmonton and is a passionate role game player. He says he’s learned a lot from online games and operates his own blog dedicated to role playing. No wonder he wants to know more about “The Future of Storytelling”. Among other things, the teaching staff tell their students how to create massive casts of characters as seen in the games that Johnn and millions of other gamers around the world are playing.

05 Nadiyka Gerbish

Nadiyka Gerbish (25, Ukraine): Nadiyka also enrolled in the Storytelling course out of professional interest. She’s the author of the best-selling and award-winning book, “Warm Stories for Coffee Time”. Located in Zbarazh in Western Ukraine, she is especially happy about the possibility to study subjects with practical relevance, something that – according to Nadiyka – the educational system in the Ukraine sometimes lacks.

07 Tanuj Kalia

Tanuj Kalia (23, India): Chennai, where Tanuj’s lives, is a major educational hub in India – not unlike Lahore for Pakistan, where Syed comes from. Tanuj is a law graduate and runs the online platform “Lawctopus” that is dedicated to law students’ issues in India. He says that “online education can be a real game changer in India.” We couldn’t agree more!
 

02 BVSS RevanthBVSS Revanth (19, India): Revanth is currently graduating in computer sciences in the Indian city of Visakhapatnam. In India, he says, higher education is expensive and you need large amounts of money to have a chance to study. Online education can help change this – and we at iversity are happy to help!

03 Sara Rodriguez Arias

Sara Rodríguez Arias (24, Spain): Sara lives in Las Palmas, located on the island of Gran Canaria. She attends three courses on iversity: Dark Matter in Galaxies, Storytelling and Design 101 – a pretty wide range of interests. She’s a highly experienced MOOCer and has attended different online courses on other e-learning platforms as well. Along with this past experience, she has written a couple of very interesting and extensive MOOC reviews, including one about Einstein’s Relativity Theory.

08 Claudio Rodriguez Valdes

Claudio Rodriguez Valdes (30, Germany): Claudio is a freelance illustrator, concept artist and character designer living in Darmstadt, Germany. We are highly impressed with his graphic work. He is convinced that the internet has the potential to revolutionise higher education – not by replacing the old system, but by contributing to it in a multitude of beneficial ways.
 

06 Denis ZilberDenis Zilber (37, Israel): Denis successfully built a career as a professional illustrator and animator, although he doesn’t have a formal degree. He works in advertising and in the field of children’s books, after graduating from the online school of animation “Animentor.com”. Denis is a prime example of one key advantage that MOOCs hold: Everyone can access courses without restrictions. In his case, online education can lead to real-life opportunities even without traditional, formal qualifications.

Our Ambassadors have a variety of motivations to join the MOOC world: Some are studying and trying to supplement their education through online courses, while others want to acquire additional knowledge that is useful for their jobs. They all have very different cultural backgrounds, but they share one vision: To advocate for awesome educational opportunities on the internet!

Thanks again to everybody who took part in the Ambassador Programme!

 

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Ambassador Programme

iversity’s Ambassador Programme has finished – but we’re launching a second round right away. First of all: Many thanks to all of you who referred your friends, family, colleagues, and fellow students. You did such a great job spreading the word about the free online courses on iversity.org! We will inform the lucky winners of the first round by mid-November. To all of you who can’t get enough: Due to the great success of the Ambassador Programme, we decided to start a second round. So keep referring, there are nice perks in it for you!

Get all the details about the first round here:

  1. Dates and deadlines: Your referrals have been counted up until 31 October, 11.59 pm CET (Berlin time). We will start gathering all the data asap and inform the winners by mid-November. Due to the huge response, this will take us a few days, so we thank you in advance for your patience.
  2. The 10 winners of an iPad Mini: Congratulations to you guys! So let’s tell how you’ll get your prizes. We will send our ten top-ranking Ambassadors an email, asking them for a postal delivery address. Depending on where you live, the shipping can take a while. This delivery will also include a reference letter to you from iversity, identifying you as an Ambassador. Also, we would like to get to know you a little better. If you are a skilled writer, you’ll get the chance to write articles for our blog and earn €500.
  3. Congrats also goes out to everyone who referred 50 or more users: You will receive an Amazon voucher worth €50. The voucher is a promotional code sent to you via email. You can use it to buy the textbooks for your MOOC on iversity.org, a nice birthday surprise for your mother – or whatever you like.

And this is to everyone who wants to take part in the second round of the Ambassador Programme:

  1. Referrals will be counted until 15 January 2014. The prizes are the same as in the first round: An iPad Mini will be awarded to the top ten referrers. Everyone who signed up 50 users or more will receive an Amazon voucher worth €50.
  2. Referrals count: We want you to keep spreading the word and will only set the counters of the first round’s winners to zero. Everyone who hasn’t won so far: You will keep the referral count you’ve managed to gather thus far.

Once more: We are very happy that so many of you took part in our Ambassador Programme. Thanks a lot for that and keep going!

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