What is Minerva?

More than an educational provider, Minerva is an academic thought leader helping to open minds and enhance the opportunities for future generations of exceptional, lifelong learners to collaborate in solving the most complex challenges of our time. Through its dynamic undergraduate program that combines an interdisciplinary curriculum and rigorous academic standards, an accomplished faculty versed in the science of learning, an advanced interactive learning platform that leverages cutting-edge technology, and four years of immersive global experience, Minerva is empowering the young minds of today for a more immersive tomorrow.

Why was it important for Minerva to work with Kiron?

Through its around-the-world program comprised of seven cities in a matter of four years of undergraduate study, Minerva students extend their learning beyond the classroom. Diving deeper into local culture, norms, and happenings through location-based programs in each of their residential locations, allows both students and partners to better engage with and learn from one another. While students gain invaluable experience and insight from location-based programs, partners benefit from their contributions to their crucial initiatives. During Minerva’s Class of 2019 Berlin experience, Kiron’s collaboration provided a unique, timely, and invaluable experience where students had the chance to connect with organizations impacting the city and beyond.

“I know Kiron because I’m interested in education and they’re doing something impactful. I met one of the founders and invited them over to meet Or and Rana, two students in the Class of 2019, when they were on Catalyst tour. We discovered many similarities between Kiron and Minerva, different approaches, different focuses, but also a lot of overlap. For example Kiron didn’t set out to use technology, but they had to do so to achieve their goals.” – Lucian Cosinschi, Regional Manager of Europe at Minerva

How does Minerva perceive higher education in the 21st century? What mission and values does Minerva have? And how are they similar to our vision?

Minerva is nurturing critical wisdom for the sake of the world. Our future – made brighter by the likes of students learning in diverse and worldy environments – rests with our emerging leaders, smarter innovators, and more informed global citizens. Together we can prepare the next generations of exceptional, lifelong learners to work together in solving the most complex challenges of our time, paving the way to a more wholesome and exquisite world. Minerva’s guiding principles — being unconventional, human, confident, thoughtful, selective, authentic, and driven — are what informs the actions the organization takes and keeps its drive for building a better world in constant, forward motion.

What was the cooperation with Kiron all about?

A product as unique as the one offered by Kiron requires equally dynamic and interesting preparation courses for its students. In many ways, it was through a series of workshop sessions with progressive Minerva students that led Kiron to the imminent decision to create its own MOOC, also known as a SPOC (Small Private Online Course). Currently only available for Kiron students, the online courses are designed to better engage, prepare, and propel its students forward.

In addition to creating a better preparation course for our students, we were fortunate to get an inside look and gain a deeper understanding of the MOOC creation process as a whole. In preparation for creating our own MOOCs for both in-house and external use on platforms including KironX on edX, our collaboration with Minerva students equipped us with better insights to building an exciting storybook, tailoring content to the needs of our students. What better way to educate our students than through the helping hand of well-travelled, cultured, and educated Minerva students?

“I personally hope our work will do good for our refugee friends and help Kiron better serve them. It’s a humbling experience to know that our work approaches this problem from such a small perspective. There is so much more to be done, and I try to remind myself of this.” – Lucy Chen, Class of 2019

During our collaboration with Minerva, many discoveries were made! The majority of online students go through a series of processes that boil down to a handful of key elements: being an (online) learner, creating a learning space, approaching education effectively, and learning right. The Kiron team, cemented in a fast-paced environment with limited resources, made developing MOOC courses a daunting task. Luckily, Minerva students came to the rescue! Working with three Minerva student volunteers on roughly six hours of recording material, together, we were able to develop new, energetic, student-tailored online courses for Kiron students.

Thanks to the wonders of the 21st century and functions of remote collaboration, Kiron managed to finish the post production of the recorded material, while working on teams across the globe. From Berlin to Buenos Aires, together with Minerva students, Kiron successfully finished its new ‘designed-by’ and ‘designed-for’ student courses on its edXedge platform. Stay tuned for its appearance on Kiron Curriculum in the coming weeks!