Massive online open courses (MOOCS) are starting to take the education/learning world by storm.
Dan Pontefract, Head of Learning and Collaboration at Telus in Vancouver, Canada, told the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) that “MOOC’s should already be happening in the corporate world. At Telus in February 2011, we launched the ‘Lead and Grow Series’: a six-week quarterly learning opportunity open to all 40,000 team members. Leadership, collaboration, our products and services have been topics of focus in some of the series. We use live webcasts, discussion forums, micro-blogging, video recordings, and other social features to bring the MOOC experience to our team members. We’re not afraid of the MOOC; we’re demonstrating it has benefit inside the corporate ranks as it does in the academic ranks through ventures like Coursera, Udacity and edX.”
Many questions remain about the use of MOOCs for large-scale corporate L&D. Do training units have the skills and technology needed to assemble, launch, and manage a MOOC? How will MOOC-style learning be evaluated? Is there data to guide decisions about the best uses of MOOCs? What kind of feedback and testing can be done using the MOOC platform?
In a November 2012 Forbes article, author Josh Bersin wrote: “At some point, the enormous investment in the education industry (Coursera, Udacity, Udemy, edX, and others) and massive online open courses will bleed over into the corporate market (where there is real money to be made). We believe much of this investment will result in products and services in the corporate market. (This is what happened around 1998 when the e-learning market started.)”
In an EvoLLLution NewsWire blog entitled “The Potential for MOOCs in the Training and Development World,” author Chris Farrell wrote: “Moving to MOOCs would allow training and development providers to step away from the accreditation problem that they have been hounded with. In the training and development world, there are questions as to whether a certificate of completion earned from a training program in one state will help an employee’s job search in any other state. MOOCs allow training and development providers the opportunity to transcend that problem by focusing on the expertise of the institution delivering the MOOC.”