Full Disclosure: I’ve never completed a MOOC.
Since 2011, I’ve enrolled in at least half-a-dozen, if not more, MOOCs. Most of them have been on the academic side of things, but a few corporate as well. Some of my more memorable MOOCs have included:
- Connectivism and Connective Knowledge (2011) (http://cck11.mooc.ca/index.html) (CCK11) <my very first MOOC>
- Change MOOC (http://change.mooc.ca/)
- MOOC on Corporate MOOCs (http://intrepidlearning.com/preregister-corporate-mooc/)
In addition to enrolling in MOOCs, I’ve been reading research about MOOCs and taking webinars and MOOCS on MOOCs trying to learn as much as I can in terms of how they are designed and facilitated. Each MOOC I’ve taken is completely different in terms of the subject matter, technology and platform used and overall approach. Each time I enroll in a MOOC, I do still say to myself that “this will be the MOOC I complete” but for varying reasons – I don’t.
The fact that I’ve never completed a MOOC, however, does not discourage me from taking more MOOCs and suggesting MOOCs to colleagues and speaking about MOOCs with clients. MOOCs in my personal learning experience have been incredibly valuable. I may not have completed one, but they’ve provided me with the opportunity to learn what I wanted to learn, when I wanted to learn. In addition, when I didn’t feeling like diving into discussions and interactions, I happily lurked and learned from the greater community, who I have to say were pretty darn smart.
I think MOOCs have tremendous potential in corporate learning environments by serving the formal and less formal learning needs of employees. While MOOCs in corporate learning are what I would refer to as not yet “fully baked”, the possibilities for them remain endless.
I recently attended a webinar that explored the success of OpenSAP and their MOOCs (sponsored by Intrepid Learning). The part of the webinar that struck me the most was OpenSAP’s mindset, open approach and genuine desire to meet the needs of the learners, regardless of whether they were there for one video or the entire program.
In their transition to MOOCs, OpenSAP weren’t expecting 100% completion rates and they weren’t expecting to throw content up and see if it would stick. Instead, their entire approach was one of openness, reflection and change.
I jotted down some of the stats from the October 18, 2014 webinar below , but you can catch the recording if you’re interested in the details (http://intrepidlearning.com/events/on-demand-webinars/intrepid-learning-spotlight-opensap/).
- 18 OpenSAP MOOC (https://open.sap.com) courses delivered since 2013
- 155,000 Unique Learners (internal and external users)
- 20-30% completion
- 8 Million videos watched and self-tests completed
It’s the fourth bullet point that really struck me because while only 20-30% were completing the entire course, the number of learners that were finding the individual resources like videos and self-tests valuable was significant. In my opinion, this is where the magic was happening.
Because all 155,000 learners weren’t being forced to consume huge amounts of content that might be meaningless to them at a particular point in time, they had the option to connect and learn what they needed when they needed it in a very open way.
As for me, I’ll keep registering for MOOCs and working on MOOC design, but I’ll also keep returning those incomplete MOOCS to top-up what I need when I need it .
By the way, it may be 2014, but I still visit the Change MOOC resources from 2011. (thank you to George Siemens, Dave Cormier, and Stephen Downs for keeping everything hosted).
More on MOOCs
There is a lot of MOOC-related research out there , including a lot of pro and anti-MOOC sentiment. I’ve included a few articles below to get you started, but a search of Google Scholar on MOOCs will get you to the research.
Stephen Downes’ weekly updated curated list of MOOC related articles – http://www.downes.ca/mooc_posts.htm
Interview with Canadian MOOC Pioneer – George Siemens (http://www.universityaffairs.ca/an-interview-with-canadian-mooc-pioneer-george-siemens.aspx)
MOOCS: Are they right for L&D (http://www.astd.org/Publications/Newsletters/LX-Briefing/LXB-Archives/2013/01/Hot-Topic-Moocs-Are-They-Right-for-Corporate-LD)