MOOC stands for
Massive – they can scale up easily
Open – no or low barriers to entry
Online – web-based
Course – timetable of events & work
Where anyone can find learning that they want. What that means is you can have learners that have huge variation in knowledge, expectation, understanding and that has the potential to scare any L&D professional.
Why scare? Because, if we can’t control the people that attend and what they know then how can we design learning for them? How will we create or communicate the objectives etc?
Where does this fear come from? I think it comes from our professions desire to be able to saw or show ‘I did that. I put that learning in place and look, this happened and so I deserve to be here.’
What a load of rubbish. I am a learning professional I want people to learn, to grow, to find the things, topics or content why on earth would I want to control that?
Think about it for a second. I would hypothesise that the sort of person that is going to seek and source a MOOC is going to be a learning professional already. In fact the statistics show that the overwhelming majority of people doing (and crucially completing) a MOOC are experienced and successful learners already.
What I really liked about the session was the change of perspectives. Think about it in this way as a lecturer you can only reach a finite number of students in a lecture hall. With a MOOC you can reach exponentially more people. That had huge potential to increase personal reward for lecturers as their reach and influence extends massively.
Where are we with MOOC’s now? It is still early days. Some issues;
Completion rate is low 6.5
MOOC’s don’t make money.
It also asks the question:
How can you provide a genuine learning experience?
How does the completion of a MOOC translate in terms of accreditation?
Doing a MOOC has the potential to be frustrating (hard to achieve your goal at distance) and/or lonely (as you lose the connections).
This may give an opportunity for organisations as they can build support for the emotional journey that the participants may go on.
It is still early days and organisations and HR will need to think about how they will use MOOC’s both with learners and those that may want to join their organisations.