Last updated: 08.05.13

Firms could train staff using MOOCs

There are a number of ways in which companies could roll out effective business training without turning to traditional methods.

According to Bob Little, e-learning expert and author of the e-book Perspective on Learning Technologies, the latest phenomenon in the sphere of online education is massive open online courses (MOOCs), which are becoming increasingly popular with organisations, Information Daily reports.

These courses must have a large number of students and offer unrestricted access to digital resources, while they also serve to improve an individual's life-long network learning.

Mr Little explained MOOCs provide firms with ways to "connect, collaborate and engage in the learning process", bringing people from different parts of the world together and allowing them to discuss subjects in a virtual community.

All completed work is uploaded and shared by students, ensuring that anyone who is enrolled into a certain MOOC can benefit from the ideas and successes of others. 

However, the professional indicated there may be room for improvement in the training, as there are some obstacles that make the courses challenging for learners.

He said the process can sometimes be chaotic and demands a serious time commitment, while undertaking a MOOC also requires a certain degree of digital literacy that some people may be lacking.

Despite this, there are numerous benefits to the programmes, such as the fact employees could access a company's own dedicated virtual platform in their spare time without interfering with their daily work tasks.

Poonam Jaypuriya, senior general manager of program management (innovation and products) at Harbinger Knowledge Products in India, stated that to engage learners and keep them interested in a course, "there's a need to develop MOOCs that are highly interactive".

At present, she remarked only seven or eight per cent of enrollees complete the training, highlighting the fact some core changes must be made to ensure workers are making the most of the instruction offered to them.