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Question: I am the HR Manager at a fast-growing mobile advertising company. We offer top corporate training and coaching programs, but some of the younger employees are asking for more. They want to learn new skills using MOOCs (massively open online courses). What should we take into consideration to help us decide if MOOCs are right for us?
Answer: When MOOCs first came on the scene in 2011, nobody knew whether they would be the next big thing in learning or just another quirky acronym. These online classes are available to all, they’re often free, and many are designed by higher education institutions including Harvard and Stanford. Millennials are especially drawn to them because the courses are convenient and help them stay up to date in a rapidly changing job landscape.
Here’s a quick list of considerations to help you decide if MOOCs are right for your company:
Credibility. If you’re currently offering top corporate training onsite, you’ll want to match those standards of quality online. Of course, Ivy League universities have great reputations, but lesser-known schools can design effective programs as well.
Commitment. Only about 5 percent of students who start a MOOC ever finish it. Many courses last 5 to 10 weeks. Find out if your employees want to add to their credentials, or just tap into a course to stay on top of new developments in their field.
Complement. Review the modules covered in your onsite training program, and consider how MOOCs might complement that training. Training on topics like culture and team dynamics are best delivered live. But training that can be delivered one-way may be a cost-effective alternative.
The good news is that your younger employees are actively engaged in learning and growth. Enlist their help to design a program that meets their desire to advance, and your desire to continue offering robust training.