MOOCs are set to radically change the world of learning, providing large-scale interactive participation and open access to learning via the internet. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos and readings, MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for learners, blending formal and informal learning.

What I'm interested in is how MOOCs could be used in corporate learning.

I am looking to firstly start a conversation about MOOCs in general, and secondly to connect with anyone who has had any experience/knowledge of either using existing MOOCs or building their own MOOC for their business learning/training.

Here are a couple of articles which I've found quite interesting relating to how MOOCs could work in the corporate world of learning:

 

1. "MOOCs in The Corporate World" by Bryant Nielson, Managing Director of Capital Wave Inc. http://www.yourtrainingedge.com/moocs-in-the-corporate-world/

 

2. "Using MOOCs for Employee Development and Organizational Learning" by Robert McGuire.

This article includes an interview with a Senior Training Manager from JLT Group, who have started using MOOCs as part of their employee development and organisational learning. http://moocnewsandreviews.com/moocs-as-part-of-employee-development...

 

3. "Our (Work) Education Crisis: Send in the MOOCs" by Chris Farrell. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-09-17/our-work-education-...

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Hi Lucy, this is a really interesting topic as those MOOCs that work well demonstrate techniques that are absolutely applicable to corporate environments, where you are delivering substantive subjects and need to take people on a journey to mastery.  

At the heart is excellent learning design - understanding the learning journey and providing the right blend of formal materials that act as a scaffold to self directed and reflective learning.  

The best performing courses also have a visible 'someone who cares' - often a criticism of MOOCs is isolation and lack of structure and support.  The best online programmes dealing with complex or specialist subjects have a facilitator - that doesn't necessarily mean a huge support load  it's about being visible in the program, facilitating the learning cohort to share experience and provoke discussions.  

I've attached the case study from the certification programme we created for the IPA - it's very much a helicopter view but it demonstrates some of the things to take into account...

Attachments:

Hi Lisa

 

Thanks for sharing your case study! I think you really hit the nail on the head with your point about the importance of learning design.

 

If you're interested in this topic The Learning Cafe's MOOCs @ Work initiative (http://moocsatwork.com/) is an interesting one to follow.

I had a discussion about this topic in my organisation about a year ago.  The response I got was that "If it's not monitored and measured, it won't happen."  To me this shows that any MOOC needs to have some compulsory aspect and some kind of milestones which participants need to reach.  All this to me seems to fly in  the face of what a MOOC is all about - giving people a rich self access portal - making in "open". 

 

Different organisations will have different develpment cultures, but I wonder if MOOCs can succeed in a 'command and control' culture found in many large organisations.

 

Chris

Lisa's reference to " a visible 'someone who cares'", is a key ingedient to solving the major issue of early drop out and non-engagement (an issue for all online learning programmes). E-mentors/e-tutors could be assigned by organisations to support (and manage) smaller cohorts within a MOOC  and who, like any other mentor, will have a responsibility for reporting attendance and progession to the sponsoring organisation. 

Think that's the key Bob to meeting the balance between self directed and evidence of learning engagement.  They are helping to facilitate and give people the confidence to generate their own reflections and share they with others.  Although the principle of open learning should be encouraged, there's no harm in my mind in providing a scaffold to guide the learner.  I wonder with MOOCs that the lack of structure can sometimes cause that same feeling you get when faced with a blank sheet of paper!  Some starters for 10 can go a long way.

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