Last week I had the privilege to spend a whole day learning about MOOCs. Proversity had invited a number of heavyweights in the field – and little old moi – to discuss their proposition of using MOOC style delivery to support corporate onboarding (and recruitment) processes. They had secured the lively and quirky Google Campus, and set up a day of presentations and breakout sessions. Here’s the stuff I picked up (broken up in bite-sized chunks):
Laura Overton (@towardsmaturity) started with a great overview on her research of MOOC usage in the corporate learning world. The general usage of technology by learning & development providers is often failing many learners – and what sets the successful organisations apart is not the technology itself, but their attitude towards learning in their businesses. Corporate learners react well to that by changing behaviours more quickly and more consistently. Overton postulated that a new learning agenda is needed, that allows corporates to react faster – driven by learners and their learning styles rather than an organisational agenda.
MOOCs in the meantime are transforming higher education [take note, HE sector!] – not necessarily a sector known for reacting quickly to student learning styles … or anything for that matter, really. Low completion rates (c.10%) are the norm for MOOCs – I would personally think that this is just a matter of time until someone finds a way to increase that enough for the model to become more stable; at which point universities will their industry-wide interruptive moment on their hands. Again – what do learners say (the question for HE in my view)? 88% want to learn at their own pace – not something that finds its way into academic calendars. However Overton thinks that the academic world can really support the corporate world through MOOCs. Let’s hope we collectively wake up in time.
Her final point was that there is an overlap of good MOOC design with corporate learning. Most MOOC learners are engaging from the workplace, and thus the curriculum needs to reflect the demands of the workplace. Overton’s key lessons included:
- Create a framework: 75% learners are happy to engage online, but 1/3 don’t find what they need – good design needs a good flow with clear instructions [take note, VLE designers]
- Design great learning: 45% of learners complain about uninspiring content – so the recommendation is to use multiple media, not just the lecturer. Also, the length of the programme is often a problem; shorter programmes have higher completion rates [do you see where this is going?].
- Support peer cooperation: staff willing to use technology like sharing what they are learning online – good MOOC design requires sharing tools, albeit this is often not encouraged enough in corporate learning and development.
- Assess effectively: staff want recognition for their online learning – only one in five L&D departments consider this.
- Scale up: MOOCs remove barriers, using cloud learning management systems.
Overton closed with the comment that the MOOC is not a new hype – its concepts and names may change, but good learning practice will prevail. Read up on her work at www.towardsmaturity.org/in-focus/MOOC2014
End of part one