Massive online open courses (MOOCs) are supposed to change the face of higher education. Early success, though, has been easier to find among corporations.
A University of Pennsylvania survey released late last year found that few students made it past the first online lecture. That’s been a constant criticism of MOOCs from educators: There’s a lack of proof that they work as well as traditional classroom methods. San Jose State University suspended a program it had initiated with MOOC provider Udacity after poor early results.
These stumbles in the education sector haven’t stopped corporations from finding a compelling reason to embrace MOOCs: Online courses trim a bill that runs to $130 billion annually for job training and certification, according to a report by Bersin, a unit of Deloitte Consulting.
Bank of America, AT&T, Intuit, Qualcomm and Yahoo! are among the companies adopting online courses as an effective and inexpensive way to train their workforce. And MOOC providers, including Coursera and Udacity, are introducing new programs tailored for a business audience.
“There’s a lot of potential for how MOOCs can be used for corporate training and development,” said Julia Stiglitz, head of business development and strategic partnerships for Coursera, which also partners with universities such as Stanford and UC Berkeley to offer online college courses. “The companies are looking for new ways to train their employees and get them up to speed on skills that may not have been relevant five years ago.”
[ Full article available at CNBC: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101415252 ]