Moving your corporate training courses to a massive open online course (MOOC) format represents a huge change, especially if you currently offer only instructor-led training (ILT). People at all levels of your company–managers, trainers, trainees–may understandably feel some apprehension about moving to the new format. The more you do at the beginning to address their concerns, the better the chances your first MOOC will be a success.
Here are six steps you can take to prepare your company for a MOOC.
1. Get buy-in from top to bottom
One factor that distinguishes MOOCs from all other forms of training is that their reach can span an entire organization all at the same time.
ILT takes place at the classroom level — interactions around courses are often limited to the employees in the room, or employees and their direct managers. E-learning takes place at the individual level — often no person-to-person interactions take place at all. But the most successful MOOCs take place at the organizational level — individuals throughout your organization participate through taking the course, facilitating the course, commenting on discussion boards, or serving as subject matter experts for certain topics. The best MOOCs have people participating at all of these levels, which means everyone in the organization needs to be committed to this new form of learning. (more…)
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On April 9, 2015 No Comments
Go to Google (or your favorite search engine) and type in “why employees love training.” Take a quick scroll through the results. Now type in “why employees hate training.” Notice the difference? Pages upon pages of articles about why people hate training, but on the love side, nada. Only advice on how to get employees to love your training. The assumption is very clearly that they don’t love it already.
The conundrum here is that employees want training. For a 2013 CareerBuilder survey, 35% of respondents said that increased training and learning opportunities would motivate them to stay with a company. Training helps employees do their jobs better, it helps them fit better into the company, and it provides the knowledge and skills they need for advancement. So why do they hate it? (more…)
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On February 18, 2015 No Comments
In the five previous articles, we have addressed common objections to using massive open online courses (MOOCs) in corporate training. Here, we take a step back to tackle a more fundamental objection—the objection to using technology at all.
Here’s a sentiment commonly heard in training departments and conference rooms:
We’ve always done instructor-led training. Our entire training program is based on face-to-face interaction, and I don’t think learning technologies can offer us much of an advantage. Using learning technologies just isn’t right for me or for my company.
“We’ve always done it this way” syndrome is rampant in companies, especially regarding adopting new technology, and it can be difficult to overcome. This objection usually stems from an unwillingness to learn something new. But while adopting a new way of doing things can be painful for some, it must happen for businesses to survive and grow into the future. (more…)
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On October 7, 2013 No Comments
If there’s one thing we have learned from the rapid changes in education and training over the past year it is that there is more than one way to do things, even in education. New technologies emerge, they disrupt the status quo, and then, inevitably, they change. This is exactly what has happened with massive open online courses (MOOCs).
Contrary to what many people predicted, MOOCs were not a “one and done”—they have continued to expand and gain credibility, and now you can get a massive online master’s degree in computer science from Georgia Tech. And contrary to what many feared, MOOCs have not yet replaced traditional colleges and training programs (at least the last time I checked all of our country’s higher education institutions were still standing). What MOOCs have done and will continue to do is change how education is delivered, both online and in the classroom. They have broadened the scope of what people expect from courses and from technology-enabled learning tools. Over a short series of articles, we will look at some new ways MOOCs are being used and how these models can facilitate training and development programs.
One of the main, and perhaps least surprising, uses of MOOCs and MOOC elements is in blended learning. Blended learning is a model in which online and instructor-led environments are combined to enhance learner mastery and success. This isn’t just randomly introducing technology into classrooms; instead, it is harnessing the power of technology to streamline the educational process, free instructors to spend more of their time actually teaching, and provide learners with the additional supports they need to succeed. (more…)
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On December 6, 2012 No Comments
This past month has been a busy one. I have found myself in discussions with a number of companies that are seeking a Chief Learning Officer (CLO), or the equivalent. Many of the discussions have originated with the company’s need to move their internal training; up from some ad hoc structure into a more highly systematized educational system.
What has surprised me is the hesitancy of the companies in taking the ‘step’ to a true training program, and hiring the CLO who would be responsible for it. It seems that many of these firms [and their management] look at training as a ‘cost center’ and has minor or irrelevant impact on the profitability of the firm. They could not be more mistaken.
It has been my response to point out the four main attributes to a high-end training program. These attributes are often overlooked and lost on management. The reasons for the short-sightedness may be many, but seem to cluster around:
1) Rapid ramp-up for new employees — getting them up-to speed in dramatically quick fashion. Far to many companies do not recognize or even tracking the value of taking new hires and fail to measure the value in reducing the time it takes to make them proficient and revenue creating. Far to many management teams treat this function as an HR program. Wrong, wrong, wrong. This is a sales and marketing matter. Improving the time it takes to making an employee a revenue generating component is not only measurable but valuable to the bottom line.
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On October 25, 2012 No Comments
Being tasked with building or managing a training organization is a larger-than-life responsibility. Mistakes will happen – but here are the ten most common training mistakes and how to avoid them.
Building and managing a training department is a difficult task. Mistakes can be made in many areas of training and development, but there are some common mistakes that you and your staff can avoid. Here are the top ten training mistakes – from development and delivery to funding.
One: Setting up the expectation that each training participant will end up with exactly the same knowledge. Adults learn in different ways and focus on different material. When that happens, Participant #1 may have a different knowledge base than Participant #2 when the training is complete. To avoid this problem, provide your students a general outline of what’s covered in training and what they are expected to learn.
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On October 11, 2012 No Comments
Summary: You can stretch your training dollar by carefully analyzing and choosing both internal and external tools and programs.
Training departments should always maintain a certain budget-consciousness – in both good and not-so-good financial circumstances. You can stretch your budget by examining needs and being aware that a mix of external and internal resources are available. Here are some ways to do that.