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Revolutionize your corporate training with MOOCs

By Sep Barkhodaee
Published on July 14, 2014

Today’s workplace is growing in size and scope and, as a result, requires HR to take an increasingly more flexible approach. One area in particular that has seen the most development and experimentation is employee training, both for new hires and skill development for existing workers.

With the growing shift to online services and software, companies are finding more of the flexibility they need to operate efficiently in online course software. Cloud-based computing and Internet-based elearning software have provided many solutions for companies to implement flexible training across the board. One of the biggest innovations in this area is the massive open online course, or the MOOC. These Web-based training options offer a variety of flexible benefits to HR and management, and are relatively cheap to implement.


Training needs an overhaul
Traditional corporate training paradigms tend to focus on one-time training solutions at the start of an employee’s tenure. Today’s workforce, however, has evolved such that this model is woefully outdated for a number of reasons. As Business2Community stated, the standard notion of training and workplace evaluation has shown itself to be ineffective moving into the modern office environment. Simply put, traditional training methods aren’t delivering the results they are meant to.

According to Business2Community, one of the major impediments to the efficacy of traditional corporate training is the nature of  the material itself. Especially among more technical or specialized fields, one-time training simply doesn’t leave employees – even the brightest of them – with the skills and knowledge they need to excel. According to experts, the solution may lie in developing more ongoing training programs. In order to successfully implement such programs without putting too much strain on HR either financially or in terms of manpower, time and other resources, companies are turning to online spaces and relying more on self-directed training on the part of the employees.


How MOOCs can help
Of the new learning technologies that have sprung up in the past decade or so, the MOOC is one that has perhaps seen some of the largest growth and widest implementation. Conceived originally for use in an academic setting as a supplement or replacement to conventional university courses, it has since migrated to the corporate world and has found an even more welcoming home being put to use for HR training applications. In fact, there are a variety of benefits that make MOOCs a particularly effective choice for corporate learning in ways even academia wouldn’t necessarily benefit from.

“MOOCs are far better used for professional development – their design suits those wanting to update or upgrade their skills, while the involvement of conversations and online collaboration makes them informal and engaging,” Diana Laurillard of the Institute of Education, University of London told the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

In fact, MOOCs seem custom-tailored to meet the specific needs that the current workplace paradigm demands of training software. Taking the form of a series of online video lectures and materials that are hosted on a cloud server and can be accessed from any Internet-ready computer with server access, MOOCs provide the ongoing accessibility and flexibility of access needed for effective business learning.

Another major advantage MOOCs offer not just to employees, but corporations as well, is a breadth of learning that can encourage tremendous personal and professional development. Because courses are made available to whoever wants to take them, and because participation is strictly interest-based and self-directed, those workers who are interested in exploring potential paths for career development have those resources made available to them. Thus, they can be very effective for helping HR not only train existing and incoming talent, but also for determining which employees are best suited and most motivated to advance further down potential management paths.

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