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Posts Tagged ‘MOOCs’

Public Libraries Are Failures (and So Are MOOCs)

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On January 21, 2015 NO COMMENTS

tkLOe7nnQ7mnMsiuijBy_hmThis is the first in a series of articles that will tackle common objections to and arguments against using massive open online courses (MOOCs) for training.

Have you seen how people use public libraries these days?

They pick up books, skim through them, and then put them back on the shelf without reading them. Sometimes they even check out books and don’t read them. Sometimes they just photocopy a few pages or a chapter, or look up a reference. Sometimes they don’t use the books at all, but instead participate in a discussion group or even watch a film! In fact, a 2012 study found that only a bare majority of people who go to a public library actually borrow printed books.

Since people who go to libraries aren’t all borrowing books—and even when they are borrowing books they probably aren’t all reading them—public libraries are failures.

By now, I expect you are rolling your eyes. And for very good reason—the assertion that public libraries are failures is ridiculous. But these are the very same arguments often used to suggest that MOOCs are failures. The fact that only between 5 and 10% of people who sign up for MOOCs actually complete them has led some to conclude that MOOCs are not engaging, that people don’t like them, and that they are not effective forms of instruction. However, the research that has been done on MOOCs shows that this argument is not valid, because completion rates are not useful measures of what really happens in a MOOC.

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Technology-Enabled Learning: What Will 2015 Bring?

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On January 7, 2015 NO COMMENTS

new-years-eve-419862_640It’s the beginning of the year—the time to make predictions about what the coming year will bring so that we can congratulate ourselves when they come true and make up excuses when they don’t. So, what will 2015 look like for corporate training and technology-enabled learning?

This is going to be a big year for technology-enabled learning. Many trends and movements have been bubbling just under the surface, and I expect that this will be the year they start making some serious waves. Here are my seven predictions for workforce education and learning technologies in 2015.

More companies will experiment with MOOCs.

Over the past year, companies have started dabbling with MOOCs, but the courses have yet to take off big time. There are a variety of reasons for this, including a lack of awareness, uncertainty about how to do it, and concerns regarding security, control over the information employees are learning and sharing, and so on (I’ll be addressing these and other objections to MOOCs in a series starting soon).

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MOOCs – What Are They? Why Should You Care?

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On January 5, 2015 NO COMMENTS

networkJoin me for my presentation to the New York Chapter of ATD on Wednesday January 14th, 2015.

It seems like everyone is talking about MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) these days. But what are they? What are the advantages of using a MOOC? How do they apply to a corporate setting? All of htese questions and more will be discussed in the first ATD eLearning SIG meeting of 2015.

In this interactive session, we will discuss:

What is a MOOC
How companies are using MOOCs
Success Stories
Nuts and Bolts (technology, transitioning from ILT/elearning)
Trends and Future directions.

Agenda:
5:30- 6:00 pm – informal networking/welcome
6:00 – 7:00 – presentation
7:00 – 7:30 – Q/A/wrap-up

When: Wednesday, January 14, 2015
5:30 – 7:30 PM
Where: CUNY School of Professional Studies
119 West 31st Street Room 103 – 1st Floor
Between 6th and 7th Avenues
New York City
Presenter: Bryant Nielson, CapitalWave Inc.


Registration: required
Must register by noon January 12, 2015.
Picture ID required for building security

For in-person registration click here >>>

About the facilitator: Bryant Nielson – Managing Director of CapitalWave Inc.– Being a big believer in “Technology Enabled Learning”, Bryant seeks to create awareness, motivate adoption and engage organizations and people in the changing business of education. Bryant is an entrepreneur, trainer, and strategic training adviser for many organizations. Bryant’s business career has been based on his results-oriented style of empowering the individual via technology.

Learn more about Bryant at LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/bryantnielson


Strategies for Implementing Gamification in Your Training MOOCs

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On December 15, 2014 NO COMMENTS

Gamification on Highway Signpost.Massive open online courses (MOOCs) and gamification hit the corporate training world at roughly the same time. MOOCs started to make their way into the mainstream in 2012, and while the idea of gamification has been around for more than a century, and the value of games in learning has been recognized for several decades, it is only recent advances in technology that have made both MOOCs and gamification viable training options.

Gamification has been a growing trend in organizations over the past few years. Starting mainly as a way to motivate sales teams through competition, the idea of using game mechanics has moved into many areas of the business environment, including training. Big-named companies, such as Deloitte and IBM have successfully implemented gamification in their L&D programs, and more organizations will be giving it a try over the next few years. According to this elearning infographic:

  • By 2015, half of organizations’ innovation processes will use gamification for some aspects.
  • Also by 2015, gamification will be the primary method by which 40% of Global 1000 organizations seek to transform their business operations.

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5 Non-Financial ROIs of MOOCs

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On December 1, 2014 NO COMMENTS

ROI on Blue Puzzle Pieces. Business Concept.Often when we talk about the ROIs of any type of training, we focus on things that can be easily monetized. There is good reason for this—L&D, like every other department, must usually justify its existence by showing how its courses and programs are having a positive financial impact on the company. However, not all ROIs of training can easily be boiled down to dollars and cents.

The intangible benefits of training in general are many. In an article for Training Journal earlier this year, Martin-Christian Kent identified six intangible benefits that are common to all types of training programs:

  • Increased employee satisfaction
  • Increased organizational commitment
  • Improved teamwork
  • Improved customer service and reduced complaints
  • Reduced conflicts
  • Reduced stress

Even though these training results range from difficult to near-impossible to measure in monetary terms (at least immediately), they can have significant impacts on the success of a company. As training solutions, MOOCs can provide these benefits just as well as instructor-led training (ILT) or traditional eLearning. But as flexible, collaborative digital learning environments, MOOCs have the potential to provide even more intangible assets to an organization.

Here are five non-financial ROIs of using MOOCs for your corporate training and development.

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How Much Learning Really Occurs in MOOCs?

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On November 24, 2014 NO COMMENTS

touch- tablet in hands businessmenThis is a question I hear often, and only recently has research become available providing us with an answer. But before we get there, take a moment to ask yourself two questions: “How much learning really occurs in instructor-led training?” and “How much learning really occurs in elearning courses?” The reason I call your attention to these questions is that for many trainers in many organizations, the honest answer is “I don’t know.”

But you should know.

Whether learners are actually learning is important information for companies that are finding themselves increasingly required to provide more training, more frequently. Too often, however, we focus so squarely on training delivery that we fail to measure, or even notice, if anyone on the receiving end of that delivery is even awake, much less encoding any information.

The problem of forgetting

One of the main challenges for workplace education, what Art Kohn calls “the dirty secret of corporate training” is that learners forget, and they forget fast. Kohn cites research showing that learners forget 50% within an hour, 70% within 24 hours, and as much as 90% within one week.

Perhaps the single biggest cause of this extreme forgetting is the fact that traditional training doesn’t gibe particularly well with how people learn. Bottom Line Performance President Sharon Boller puts it well when she writes: “A significant portion of what organizations label as training fits [a common but ineffective model]: it’s delivered as a single ‘glop,’ and large volumes of it are delivered up at once with nothing repeated. The intent in these instances is efficiency, but the result is the opposite because people don’t remember well in these scenarios.”

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What Style of MOOC is Right for You?

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On November 17, 2014 NO COMMENTS

Press Online button.If there is one idea I hope I’ve impressed upon you in writing about massive open online courses (MOOCs), it’s that, unlike instructor-led training and traditional elearning, MOOCs are highly flexible online learning environments. The popular media often refers to a MOOC as being just one kind of thing, and that one thing is usually associated with the types of MOOCs found on Coursera. But, this perspective doesn’t provide the full story—over the past year or so, we’ve seen a tremendous amount of experimentation and development of the MOOC, and today the acronym is an umbrella term that is used to refer to a wide variety of large-scale online courses.

In the corporate training world, there are three main distinctions that are meaningful when determining what style of MOOC to implement:

  1. Scheduled versus self-paced
  2. Moderated versus non-moderated
  3. Fully online versus blended (or hybrid)

In this post, we’ll look at each of these distinctions to help trainers decide what type of MOOC best meets the needs of their organization and their learners.

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ILT, Elearning, or MOOC? When to Use Common Training Formats

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On November 6, 2014 NO COMMENTS

Training optionsCorporate training used to mean one thing: “Here’s an orientation pamphlet and a couple of manuals. If you have any questions, ask Joe.” Then it meant another: “Your training will take place October 14 through 18, from 9 to 5. Bring a lunch and try not to snore too loudly.” And then another: “Just hit ‘Next’ on this computer presentation until you get to the end, and then take the test.”

I jest, of course, but only slightly.

The point is that when many people, even in L&D departments, think about effective corporate training, they have one specific format in mind, and that format is usually either instructor-led training (ILT) or elearning. The popularity of each type of training has risen and declined according to various factors, including who’s in charge, training budgets, and what’s trendy. Today, however, with innovation and new technologies, there are many different types of training formats in use, including the classics (ILT and elearning) as well as newer developments like complex computer-based simulations and massive open online courses (MOOCs).

With so many options, which one do you choose? The various formats are not mutually exclusive, and ideally you would not have to make this choice for an entire training program en masse. Instead, the training format you use should be the one best suited to the content to be learned, the needs of the audience, and the needs of the organization.

Below are some guidelines for when to use traditional ILT, elearning, and MOOCs.

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Instructor Led Training…Is It Still the Gold Standard?

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On October 30, 2014 NO COMMENTS

Gold BarsIn the training world, we often refer to instructor-led-training (ILT) as the gold standard. We compare every other form of training to it and seek to replicate it as closely as possible when developing new training methodologies. But it recently occurred to me that the underlying assumption here might not be correct, and that ILT might not be the ultimate high-value training after all.

Digital learning environments like massive open online courses (MOOCs) are starting to challenge the preeminence of ILT. Is it time we had a new gold standard?

Why is instructor-led training considered the best?

ILT became the gold standard not because it’s perfect (we all know that isn’t true), but because it’s better than other traditional methods of training. There is no question that ILT is superior to sending a new hire a booklet to read or putting an employee in a room with a computer to hit “Next-Next-Next” on a PowerPoint deck, but these are not exactly examples of high-quality training.

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What a MOOC Is and What It Isn’t

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On October 22, 2014 NO COMMENTS

What a MOOC is and What it is notMassive open online courses (MOOCs) are the education and training story of this decade (at least so far). In barely three years, they have expanded from a single course on artificial intelligence taught by Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig in the fall of 2011 to thousands of MOOCs taught by instructors from leading colleges, universities, and companies on various platforms around the world. It’s impressive.

However, while there is growing awareness of the existence of MOOCs, there persists a good deal of confusion about what they actually are and what they can do. This is unsurprising for two reasons:

  • MOOCs have changed considerably since they first came out, and they are continuing to evolve as both the pedagogies and the technologies
  • Many types of courses fall under the MOOC umbrella. Education insiders have developed an entirely new vocabulary surrounding the courses, but in popular parlance, they are all commonly referred to as MOOCs.

The goal of this article is to clear up some of the confusion by exploring what a MOOC is and, perhaps more importantly, what it isn’t, and clarifying the roles MOOCs can play specifically within the context of corporate training.

A MOOC is a framework, not a platform.

One of the biggest sources of confusion I encounter is the idea that a MOOC is an online learning platform, a learning management system (LMS). This misconception is understandable, since the language we use often equates MOOC providers like Coursera and edX with the courses themselves, but it is a misconception nonetheless.

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