Rabobank and GITP:
Using MOOC to make business owners successful

As an international bank, Rabobank was looking for a better way to assist its customers with knowledge and expertise. They found the answer in MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) and in collaboration with GITP and aNewSpring, set it up.

The problem

How can an international financial service provider better assist its customers with knowledge and expertise?

Rabobank, an international business bank, operates in 120 countries. In the competitive banking landscape, providing a positive and unique customer experience is key. Traditional channels are not sufficient, and Rabobank explored inspiring ways to help entrepreneurs and business owners.

There is a lot of fragmented and unambiguous information available for entrepreneurs who want to do business internationally. Although Rabobank has the knowledge, expertise and international coverage to support international entrepreneurs, Rabobank is not always top of mind with the entrepreneurs.

The concept

MOOC on international business

Rabobank developed a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) together with GITP, a human resources development consulting firm. The course, Online Masterclass on International Business, inspires entrepreneurs and offers practical guidance for successful international expansion. The goal is to help entrepreneurs who do business in new countries overcome the many barriers they face.

The Result

MOOC: Empowering entrepreneurs and connecting them with Rabobank

Thanks to the MOOC, Rabobank is able to demonstrate its broad experience and knowledge of international business. It helps Rabobank attract a new audience, which in turn helps entrepreneurs access valuable content on international business. With the MOOC as a content marketing tool, a strong relationship with the entrepreneurs is being established. The MOOC proved a valuable addition to existing resources such as websites and events—2700 participants rate the MOOC with an 8 out of 10.

“The Masterclass is a success. We get to know our entrepreneurs better, contribute to the success of our customers and at the same time, we position ourselves as knowledge leaders. The MOOC showed us which countries our customers are going to operate in the coming years. We look forward to our continued effort the offer and update the Masterclass and continuing to support our customers with their international growth.”

An inspiring MOOC with relevant content and a variety in learning activities

The MOOC covers topics such as market research, culture, import/export, local offices, market entry and cash flows. Each module of the MOOC consists of:

1. E-coach Bert Kuizenga who guides the participant with video messages
2. Lectures by Rabobank experts
3. An interview with an expert or entrepreneur
4. Tips & tricks from experienced entrepreneurs and network organisations (including KvK, Fenedex and RVO)
5. The Do’s & Don’ts of Rabobank’s International Desks
6. Case studies by entrepreneurs, research papers and interesting websites and articles
7. A test

How do you design a MOOC?

MOOCs have become popular as a result of well-known American universities making their colleges available online. Read more on how you can design a MOOC.

The MOOC uses:

  • Social and Mobile Learning
  • MemoTrainer™ as retention tool
  • Conditional learning activities
  • Certificates of participation
  • Hand-in assignments
  • Videohosting
  • Catalogue

Seven principles to motivate participants to complete the MOOC

What many MOOCs have in common is that the number of participants who complete them is low. To overcome this, Rabobank adapted the MOOC to the characteristics of its target audience:

1. All modules are released at once, instead of one module per week.
2. Participants receive reminders from e-coach Bert Huizenga.
3. The learning journey has a lot of variety (in both content as well as in the delivery of the content).
4. Gamification elements fit well with the competitive mindset of an entrepreneur.
5. The MOOC is responsive and works on any device (desktop, tablet or mobile).
6. Before the MOOC starts, participants understand the expected time investment per week.
7. The learning content is compact.

Social learning: ondernemers willen van elkaar leren

De MOOC is ingericht op een wijze waarop ondernemers van elkaar leren. Zo worden:

  • tips en ervaringen van mede-ondernemers en objectieve netwerkpartners centraal gesteld.
  • ondernemers op het platform gestimuleerd om te discussiëren.
  • deelnemers de mogelijkheid geboden om peers te selecteren die in een specifiek land of sector actief zijn.

“As a training provider, GITP has dedicated itself to developing blended and online programs. This MOOC worked great in applying our acquired knowledge, educational insights and design to Rabobank’s challenge.”


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