Are MOOCs really the next big thing?

I like the idea of MOOC’s, I really do  – even to the point that I started to set one up using Moodle in my last employed post before I even really knew what a MOOC was!  But I’m just not convinced that they are going to be the next big ‘thing’ in L&D in the future.

Consequently, I was really interested to read that Coursera has started to offer Learning Hubs around the world. This is one of the ways that Coursera are trying to tackle the high volume of learners who sign up to their MOOC’s but who don’t complete the courses – an issue which currently plagues all MOOC providers.

On the one hand this new dimension might actually be what is needed to make the MOOC’s fulfill their potential but on the other hand, isn’t that just another form of classroom learning, and isn’t that what L&D have been trying to get away from (potentially for the wrong reasons) for years?

… One of the big challenges of using MOOC’s to develop vocational skills is whether or not organisations will accept them as a qualification of quality or whether they will still want to provide their own soft skill training to employees to ensure it’s tailored as they need it.  And if organisations want to provide more tailored learning in a MOOC style environment, then it’s not really a MOOC anymore and it would only be free to employees.

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