Here we go again. There is yet another acronym the Internet is compelling us to pay attention to. Learning professionals do love their acronyms – LMS, LCMS, LRS, etc. At least this acronym sounds like a word (Think of a cow mooing, except with “k” sound at the end). So what is a MOOC? It’s actually a relatively simple explanation:
It’s massive because it is available to potentially hundreds of thousands of learners. It’s open because anyone (essentially) can join. It’s online because that’s the only place it can exist. There can be variations on any of these elements, even whether or not the MOOC is actually a course or a series of courses or a collection of content and people, but the idea remains the same.
Join me and Brandon Hall Group Chief Strategy Officer Michael Rochelle for a webinar at 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 3, as we discuss the implications of MOOCs in the corporate setting and explore some examples of how they are being used.
The idea of MOOCs is to incorporate content and material that can be found across the Internet and use it to create a community of learners that can communicate and interact. If organizations are concerned with the demands of Millennials around social and mobile learning technologies, they need to pay attention to MOOCs. This is a big part of how many young people are learning in the university setting. Not to mention the widespread popularity of MMRPGs (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games). Note the two identical pieces of MOOC and MMRPG – Massive and Online. People are getting more and more comfortable interacting this way to achieve goals.
MOOCs really embody the theme of Brandon Hall Group’s research around Relationship Centered Learning, with a focus on the Community to Many model. Our Social and Collaborative Benchmarking Study, soon to be released, has found that things such as discussion forums, learner comments, expert directories and learner-generated content are considered highly effective tools for learning. These things are the hallmarks of an effective MOOC.
If you would like to get more familiar with MOOCs, here are some you can check out:
MIT Open Courseware
Harvard Open Courses
—David Wentworth, Senior Learning Analyst, Brandon Hall Group