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What can MOOCs mean for the corporate world?


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The slides I used during the August 8 webinar for the Training Magazine network. Covers: "The state of the MOOC", "What's in a name" and "Imagine all the MOOCs"

Published in: Education, Technology
  • There is no doubt that the role of the internet has a huge role to play in the delivery of quality learning. The demand pressure of the largest high school graduation class in 2008 (3.2 million graduating seniors) on traditional brick and mortar institutions as well as the need of corporations to supplement training with 'just-in-time' training modules in order to meet job expectations, has led to great innovation and advancement in the use of online learning environments for course delivery. The trick in this ever growing dependency on online learning and management systems is developing learning......
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What can MOOCs mean for the corporate world?

  1. 1. What can MOOCs mean for the corporate world? by Bert De Coutere from the Center for Creative Leadership for Online Learning webinars Here’s a question:
  2. 2. Nice to meet you! Bert De Coutere lives in Belgium, works for the Center for Creative Leadership, blogs on and is one third of the core team behind
  3. 3. WHY ARE WE TALKING MOOC TODAY? Here a MOOC, there a MOOC, everywhere a MOOC MOOC
  4. 4. Poll: MOOC experience Who particpated in a MOOC before? – What are you talking about? – I did not participate in any MOOC – I participated in a MOOC on Coursera, EdX or Udacity – I participated in a MOOC on – I participated in a cMOOC / other MOOC A B C D E
  5. 5. A MOOC example Usually a MOOC runs over a number of weeks and offers short video, readings, discussion and assignments.
  6. 6. MOOCs are the talk of the town ... at least in the education world My feed reader explodes with MOOC related posts. Much is written about it, little (but more and more) is researched or validated at this point.
  7. 7. Sometimes I think academic education and corporate training live in parallel universes... • Did you know: around 70% of participants in MOOCs have a degree • “When combined with the fact that MOOCs to date have not been applied for academic credit, it is apparent that the primary usage of MOOCs has been for professional development or lifelong learning.” (M Feldstein)
  8. 8. So that is why we in the ‘corporate parallel world’ should take a look at the other side and learn what the MOOC experiences in the academic world can mean for us... What we will talk about today. The state of the MOOC The state of the MOOC is that we are making sense out of it all as we move along the hype cycle. Is it a bubble or here to stay? What’s in a word? In the MOOC alphabet soup, the acronym means different things to different people. What could it mean for your organization? Imagine a corporate MOOC Corporate interest in MOOCs has only just begun and may lead to yet another MOOC family. When do MOOCs make sense in a corporate setting?
  9. 9. THE STATE OF THE MOOC Here a MOOC, there a MOOC, everywhere a MOOC MOOC
  10. 10. Recent headlines indicate MOOCs are still on the rise – and still controversial. MOOCs seem to have spread faster than any previous learning technology.
  11. 11. The MOOC existed before the MOOC mania started. MOOC history lesson: about cMOOC and xMOOC
  12. 12. As with any disruptive innovation, moods swing from one side... Revolution or dissillusion? “We are moving away from the model in which learning is organized around stable, usually hierarchical institutions (schools, colleges, universities) that, for better and worse, have served as the main gateways to education and social mobility. Replacing that model is a new system in which learning is best conceived of as a flow, where learning resources are not scarce but widely available, opportunities for learning are abundant, and learners increasingly have the ability to autonomously dip into and out of continuous learning flows.” - Marina Gorbis (IFTF)
  13. 13. As with any disruptive innovation, moods swing from one side to the other... Revolution or dissillusion?
  14. 14. As with any disruptive innovation, moods swing from one side to the other... leaving us with a lot of FUD Fear, uncertainty &doubt.
  15. 15. Poll: Where on the hype cycle do you think MOOCs are right now? A B C D E
  16. 16. The MOOC hype cycle: getting passed the path of disillusionement
  17. 17. It’s not because it is a hype it is not worth exploring. The hype cycle learns the predictable pattern, and 2013 grows into the year of the MOOC scepticism. That’s healthy. “I’ve said this many times over the past six months: If 2012 was the year of the MOOC, 2013 will be the year of the anti-MOOC.” (George Siemens)
  18. 18. Let’s illustrate one of the major FUD discussions Who also completed a MOOC? A - Never participated in a MOOC B - Enrolled but never participated C - Participated but never finished D - Finished E - Finished and got credits A B C D E
  19. 19. Reframing our expectations: the emerging new ‘normal’ for MOOCs Only about 10% will finish the course. Is that bad? There are a lot of lurkers. Is that bad? We can’t judge new formats with old mindsets, metrics or expectations.
  20. 20. State of the MOOC: we are finding things out as we move along. Experimentation is at full swing. We get more data on participation and participants which gives us a baseline to work from. In areas such as business models experimentation is ongoing.
  22. 22. An attempt to a definition What’s MOOC to you? “MOOC is a fuzzy term, it doesn’t really mean anything” (Chris Patton)
  23. 23. What’s in a name? Are you a cMOOC or xMOOC fan? Massive Open Online Courses What do each of the four terms at a minimum mean? People are starting to play with the words.
  24. 24. Maybe a good way to categorize MOOCs is to look at purpose and pedagogical approach. Taxonomy : 8 different MOOCs based on pedagogy • transferMOOCs • madeMOOCs • synchMOOCs • asynchMOOCs • adaptiveMOOCs • groupMOOCs • connectivistMOOCS • miniMOOCSs
  25. 25. More important than the definition is to ask what is really different from before. And even more important: why does it (seem to) work this time? Start with everything you know about distance learning, focus on your area of strenght and take it from there... "The idea of a MOOC is not so new, only the scale is different.“ (Inge de Waard)
  26. 26. IMAGINE A CORPORATE MOOC Imagine there's no classes It's easy if you try No blackboard in front of us Above us only the cloud Imagine all the peers Learning for today... Imagine there's no diplomas It isn't hard to do Nothing to cram or flunk for No accreditation too Imagine all the peers Learning live on the job... You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the world will be as one Imagine no proprietary knowledge I wonder if you can No need for access or obedience A brotherhood of man Imagine all the peers Innovating all the world... You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the world will learn as one
  27. 27. Let’s now move to the corporate parallel universe Which of the MOOC features is most problematic for the corporate world? • Massive • Open • Online • Course A B C D
  28. 28. The million dollar question. Shall we ‘wait and see’ or ‘do and find out’? The FUD is different at the corporate side.
  29. 29. How different are MOOCs when we look at them with corporate eyes? What we don’t care so much about • Degrees and credits • Disrupting and disintermediating the academic model • Student semesters • ... What speaks to us on the corporate side • Scaling up • Cost efficiency – more with less • Will it sell or cannabalize our business? (providers) • ...
  30. 30. Jay Cross organised a hangout on MOOCs and corporate... Are MOOCs and business by definition incompatible? The proof of the pudding is not in talking about the recipe.
  31. 31. Poll: what do you dream about? What are important areas for your training department? – Reaching more people with our programs – Keeping costs down – Let customers and partners learn how to use our products and services – Build up your brand in emerging markets – Stop duplicating effort across the industry – Other: in chat A B C D E
  32. 32. We want a lot of people to learn to use our products, don’t we? Example of the Google Power Search MOOC. The obvious candidate for corporate is always a ‘marketing’ purpose.
  33. 33. Imagine all the MOOCs • What do we need to scale up? • What do we need to open up? • What can’t we do on our own? • What do we need networked learning for?
  34. 34. So what will it take to run a succesful MOOC in a corporate context? MOOCs are another tool in the box, along with many other formats. MOOCs are unlikely to be a good fit in a context of control, small-scale, self- centered around institutions or experts,... There are plenty areas that would fit.
  35. 35. Final poll So do you think your organisation should be looking at MOOCs? – Yes – No YES NO
  36. 36. Key questions • What can the corporate world learn from the MOOC experiences of the education world? • What does it take to design and run a MOOC?
  37. 37. Shameless promotion of our MOOC See you in Chicago to talk about designing MOOCs!
  38. 38. MORE
  39. 39. Session description MOOCs are the talk of the town in the higher education space, but what can they mean for corporate training? In this session we’ll go over • The ‘state-of-the-MOOC’ : the MOOC phenomenon has taken the higher education world by storm, and seems to trigger as much debate as participants. What are the emerging trends, platforms, proof of impact, statistics and business models? • What’s in a word? : What does MOOC mean to you? What is the essence behind the acronym? What could it mean for corporate training? • Imagine all the MOOCs : A few imaginary cases for MOOCs in corporate settings • What will it take? : What do we need to introduce a successful MOOC in corporations? Some golden advice given to us by early MOOC adopters as we were designing our LeaderMOOC (coming in September)
  40. 40. Sources • Source: announcement-in-context/ • • multiplying-at-a-rapid-pace.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 • triples-its-funding/ • • takeaways-from-the-coursera-calamity • think-you-know-about-moocs-could-be-wrong • • policy • • • • ything%2BYou%2BThink%2BYou.pdf • • • •
  41. 41. For more information • Chronological overview of MOOCs in 2012: of-2012-moocs/ • Insights on MOOC participants: mooc-student-types-from-eli-focus-session/ • 20 strategies to increase MOOC interaction: strategies-to-increase.html • The most thorough description to date of university experience with MOOCs description-to-date-of-university-experience-with-mooc/ • Coursetalk – MOOC reviews and learning
  42. 42. Sustainable business models are still a work in progress