Behind the Scenes of an Award-Winning MOOC

"Creative Box", a course on Canvas Network, invites you to discover creativity methods and develop your own innovation project. Originally launched in 2015, the course has been improved incrementally from every edition to the next based on participant feedback and critical self-assessment.

We recently decided to push ourselves and our course further by undergoing the demanding Online Course Certification System (EOCCS) accreditation process through the European Foundation of Management Development. This step represents a milestone as we have been awarded a quality label for online learning in the field of business/management.

This challenge presented a great opportunity for critical introspection and self-assessment about our way of creating an online course. We are often so deeply invested in our projects that we do not take the time to step back and take stock. The EOCCS accreditation process, which requires you to write a very detailed report and defend your work in a final audit before a jury of international experts, makes you aware of your strengths and weaknesses in course design, delivery and pedagogical strategy.  

The results are in. We are pleased to announce the course is recognized as above standards especially in the areas of:

-Design of the course content

-Design of the course layout

-Design of the course delivery

-Accessibility of the course

Good to know! But what does it actually take to get there? Here is our list:

If it's not fun, don’t do it!

A great MOOC requires a truly involved author who loves doing it even if she/he has not done it before, as was the case with our colleague Orsolya Sadik-Rozsnay. Motivation needs to be natural for everybody. We are convinced that participants feel it when a MOOC is produced with passion. This project required a great deal of personal commitment and adaptability, so if you are ready to spend at least 200 hours to complete it, you might as well enjoy the work!

Above: Orsolya Sadik-Rozsnay shooting a video at Warner Bros. by @StéphanieConrad

Make sure your project has the full support of your organisation.

This kind of project necessarily bumps into difficulties, and it’s helpful to have the trust of your superiors.

Increase your knowhow as you go.

This is a learning journey for you, too! Outsourcing as few tasks as possible will help increase your team’s skills and sharpen their sensitivity for the product's strengths and weaknesses. In other words: be prepared for some "learning by doing" (and a good dose of "trial and error"). In our case we finally only outsourced the dubbing for the English version of some videos plus the shooting of the teaser.

Build a motivated team.

People are key. And they need to share a clear idea of expectations, objectives and achievements in the process of course creation. Our goal was to create an attractive, dynamic course for all those who are interested in learning about innovation, and make it accessible to learners on all levels. Everyone on our team, including the course author (an academic), one course team leader, two e-tutors, one IT expert and one learning designer, subscribed to this overall objective, and all were strongly engaged in the process.

Above: The team of the Institute of Advanced Pedagogy - ESSCA

Choose the right platform!

Another key point, often underestimated, is that the platform has to meet both your pedagogical and practical requirements. After our benchmarking in 2015, Canvas appeared as the best solution for us because it seemed user-friendly to both designers and participants. Today, I can add that we have been extremely satisfied not only with the technical features, but most of all with the reactivity of the Canvas support team, which was essential for our overall success. As I said above: people are key! 

The next edition of our course launches 22 January (on Canvas, of course). What a good way to begin the New Year! 

Sign up today!


Keep learning,
Stéphanie Conrad
Instructional Designer at ESSCA 
School of Management (France)