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How MOOCs are flattening corporate training and education

20 Jun

Corporate training and education is borrowing from massively open online courses to keep employees enriched and up-to-date

[ iStock/Sergey Nivens ]

By Erin Carson

On Friday afternoons, the team at Much Better Adventures, a UK company that helps people plan vacations without having to hunt for lodging, stops what they’re doing and spends some time learning about sustainability via massively open online courses (MOOCS) Coursera and Future Learn.

“We try to improve our understanding of what type of impact our industry and business as a whole is having on the environment and sustainable development,” said CEO Alex Narracott, “Then we use to try and inform that way we develop the business as a whole.”

For the uninitiated, MOOCS are free online courses that are available to whomever wants to take them over the course of many weeks. Often times they’ll include lectures, assignments, and homework, but the rules can differ as to pacing. For example, if you hop on Coursera, you can take a 10-week course from Stanford on machine learning. Or, a 13-week class on Buddhist meditation and the modern world from University of Virginia. Depending on the class and platform, students may receive a certificate of completion. And that certification can work toward the continuing education credits that some professions require.

In the past several years since MOOCs have gained steam, their uses have expanded from individuals brushing up on topics like art or coding in their free time, to the less foreseen use of businesses using them to train or further educate employees.

There are a few reasons why MOOCs can work in a corporate setting. For one, they cost far less than putting employees through something like master’s program, or a college course at a local university.

[ Full article available at TechRepublic: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-moocs-are-flattening-corporate-training-and-education/ ]

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Posted by on June 20, 2014 in Industry News, MOOCs in the News

 

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