So you are ready to design your own massive open online course (MOOC) and you want to incorporate social media. How should you go about it? What tools should you use? When the first MOOCs hit the net, the only real option was blogs. Then Coursera, Udacity, and edX popularized discussion boards, similar to what is used in non-MOOC elearning. Since then, social learning tools have exploded onto the market. At a minimum, most MOOCs today use discussion boards, blogs, and microblogs, and many have some kind of dedicated social network.
Training MOOCs are by nature different than academic MOOCs. One difference that affects the use of social media is the potential audience and the type of content. Organizations need to decide whether to make their MOOCs truly open and host them publicly on the Internet or whether to restrict part or all of the courses to authorized users. The deciding factor may be the amount of proprietary or competitive information included in the course content. For example, a business etiquette course may be hosted on the Internet, while a sales training course may be run on a private intranet. Different social media tools are available depending on whether or not the training will be made public. (more…)
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On July 1, 2013 No Comments
If you took a quick survey of your organization, chances are you would find several people who have taken, are taking, or are planning to take a MOOC. And of those people, a good portion of them are probably doing it to enhance their skill set and improve their career. Yes, you read that right – many people take MOOCs as courses for professional development, not because they are required to or are being paid to, but because they want to.
MOOCs are still a very new phenomenon, and although a massive amount of data is being collected, it hasn’t yet been compiled and analyzed. However, preliminary demographic data show a pretty interesting trend. According to Inside Higher Ed, reports from early MOOCs offered by Coursera and Udacity suggest that between one-half and three-quarters of the students took the courses to enhance their skills either so they would perform better in their current job or so that they could find a better job. So while universities and governments are frantically trying to figure out exactly how MOOCs will affect higher education, and in particular whether they should translate into any sort of credit, MOOC students are leading a quiet revolution of their own – they are using the free online courses to increase their job skills and earning potential. (more…)
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On April 29, 2013 No Comments
A little over a year ago, very few people had heard of massive open online courses, aka MOOCs. The strange acronym was recognized only in select higher education circles, where the courses were either regarded with trepidation (“What will this do to our schools?”) or with derision (“We have nothing to fear from these second-rate imposters!”). Then over a period of about six months, everything changed. Three major companies were launched, millions of people signed up for free online courses, and the New York Times declared 2012 “the year of the MOOC.” There is no longer a question of whether or not MOOCs will disrupt higher education—they already have, and they are pounding on the doors of K-12 and continuing education and corporate training as well. So, what is a MOOC? How are MOOCs affecting traditional models of education? And what does this mean for the future of corporate training?
A MOOC is a “massive open online course”: massive because the scale of the course is limited only by the capabilities of the learning management system; open because it is free and available for anyone to take; online because an Internet connection is all that is required to participate; and course because it delivers a specific unit of educational or training content. There are different types of MOOCs, but they all rely on a variety of online resources. Content delivery is usually through videos and other online media, while assessment is either objective (quizzes, exams) or subjective (blog posts, digital artifact creation, peer-reviewed essays). The term itself was first used by Dave Cormier to describe a course offered in 2008 by education and technology gurus George Siemens and Stephen Downes. This first MOOC attracted more than 2000 people, a number that was astounding at the time. (more…)
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On December 31, 2012 No Comments
It is with a sad note that I am the learning physician that has to declare that elearning (as it now exists) is dead. I am positive that many of you are going to say “WHAT”? eLearning has had a long illustrious life. As a baby, it was nothing more than a mail-order course delivered to interested individuals. As it grew up, the teenage years were expressed as computer-based-learning programs that were sent by disk. This was a huge expansion to the development of elearning as a youth. It created a distribution process that was previously unparallelled. It was a great youth experience.
As an adult, elearning showed its capabilities when it was delivered on the internet. With its capability to be available 24/7 and global delivery, it was just about everything that one could possibly hope for.
As it aged, it learned new tools to increase engagement. It successfully changed it self from paper reading to computer screen reading to browser based reading, but it still was nothing more than reading on a different platform. It did learn to add some fancy graphics as well as some novel java and flash tools to increase engagement, but it continued to suffer from a position of isolation. There was not much it could do that would to engage a collective of participants.
This isolation is what caused it’s unfortunate death. It reached millions of individuals, but could not find a way to assist them to learn as a group or community. eLearning is is mourned by its spouse Content Creation Tools and their children MOOC, edx, Coursera and udacity.
Copyright 2012 Bryant Nielson. All Rights Reserved.
Bryant Nielson – Managing Director of CapitalWave Inc.– offers 25+ years of training and talent management for executives, business owners, and top performing sales executives in taking the leap from the ordinary to extraordinary. Bryant is a 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.
Learn more about Bryant at LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/bryantnielson