Posted by Ann K. Fuerst, Ph.D., Chief Learning Strategist

You may be wondering what a MOOC even is. In its purest sense, a massive open online course (MOOC) is a course of study made available over the Internet without charge, to an open-ended audience. In the corporate setting, the term has been adapted to apply to an innovative, blended learning approach offered within the confines of the organization.

MOOCs have generated a buzz since they burst onto the learning scene over two decades ago. Reviews have been mixed in their corporate applications. Fortunately, the concept and design premise has evolved since it’s early inception. Many of these learning experiences are no longer massive or open. MOOCs can be very powerful tools but only when well designed and supported.

There are also many myths out there about MOOCs these days. They are not just another form of self-paced online learning. In fact, they will never be able to replace traditional modalities of training. Also, they are not blended learning courses just packaged a different way. There is no standard way to approach designing a MOOC, yet when designed well, MOOCs can deliver true performance improvement. But how do we get there?

Qualities of a successful MOOCs include that they are:

  • Cohort-driven, creating a personalized moderated experience
  • Time-spaced learning to apply new concepts over time.
  • Micro in nature, meaning that there are short bursts of content and activities spaced throughout this continuum
  • Social, meaning that there are communities of practice interacting and learning together.

In order to create an excellent MOOC experience, designers should follow Sekhon and Albert’s Seven Cs framework of MOOC design which includes:

  1. Create content that is a value add to the audience.
  2. Give the learning context so that learners need to know is how they can apply new concepts to their particular job.
  3. Curate and co-create both as a part of the course creation and during the experience to gain learner input from the course in real time and present it back to the audience.
  4. Communicate so learners know exactly what is expected of them and when.
  5. Collaborate to increase the likelihood for on the job behavior change after the course with tools such as discussion exercises, and observation opportunities.
  6. Create opportunities for competition to feed off the driving motivation for any group of motivated professionals.
  7. Offer certification to add credibility to the completion of the program.

Whether you are creating a course that’s internal to your organization or an outward-facing customer experience, MOOCs can be a strategic way to repeatedly engage your audience over a period of time. This engagement pays dividends to both learners and customers. And when you’re ready to build one, TCC is here to help.

To learn more about TCC’s Performance Technologies solutions, please visit our website http://www.e-tcc.com/performance-technologies.

 

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