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Lauri’s Dream: Incorporating MOOCs onto Corporate Training

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Laura Ramos
11 January 2013

My situation (context)

Disclaimer before I begin: I use the word MOOC below, but more related to the model and theory behind them, because I’m very aware that in a corporate environment “Massive” means “All or Many people of the company” and “Open” means “Inside company boundaries”.

The most part of my career was developed inside a corporate environment (either public or private). Sometimes on the in-house end, other times as outsourced. One of the common barriers I encountered was the difficulty of sharing inside knowledge and best practices. I couldn’t (can’t) wrap my head around this, as a lot of money was being invested in developing training programs that were sometimes unnecessary: the knowledge was right there at our disposal, in the people from different fields that worked at the company.

Complex communications systems would get installed, but people communicated less (not in quantity, mas in quality terms). Knowledge would not flow due to a multitude of factors (bureaucracies, power games, non valorization of training, …).

As I began to learn about MOOC’s, I related to the theoretical aspect (mainly Connectivism), but I could only see it become a reality in environments where learning was the main goal (schools, universities or self-learning). In corporations, the main goal isn’t learning, it’s achieving business results. And if for me it’s obvious that lifelong learning is a definite influence on that goal, for many (all?) companies I’ve worked with, all I ever heard was “training can’t be longer than X hours, because people have to get back to work”.

MOOC’s do take up a lot of time and dedication. The Connectivist approach does require engagement and dedication from the learner, not to mention resilience.

Nevertheless, I believe that being part of a common learning course MOOC-style would be a beneficial experience for “corporaters” (aka, people who work in companies and that receive training provided by the company) and that their learning ability would be exponentially higher than “usual” online learning courses (aka, readthrough multimedia courses available to corporaters, sometimes without tutoring).

The change I would like to see (challenge)

There are several goals that I believe would be obtained:
- The “simple” sharing of experiences and knowledge throughout the company
- To construct a common knowledge database (that would even allow new hires to benefit from that learning experience, even if they haven’t participated directly in it)
- To create relations between people scattered throughout the globe.

What would be different?
- Regular courses would cease to be dominant (I’m not a fan of extremes, I do believe there is always a time and place for different learning experiences, methods and theories). People would themselves ask for immersive learning experiences where they could benefit from peer knowledge.
- Informal Learning would happen not just to those two or three people who usually go have a coffee break together. Informal learning would be an experience from which anyone could benefit.

How I might go about bringing that change

I would like to base my project on Connectivism. Maybe a “semi-Connectivist” approach, because of the confidential nature of the subjects and because the resources would have to be in-house.

There are some technologies available: corporate LMS and Intranet, corporate Sharepoint document repository and corporate email.

Social media technologies (Facebook groups, bookmarking web tools, Google Docs or cloud repositories, etc.) would have to obtain authorization.

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Wuau! A dream project head to toes! You really know what you want and have some of the means to make it hapen, to make the change! My finger crossed for you :)

Tiffany Crosby
6:04pm 14 January 2013


Is there a particular topic you would want to use to explore the feasibility of developing a MOOC corporate learning platform? As a corporate trainer facilitator, I'm also curious as to whether a MOOC would work in a corporate training environment. I share your concerns about the amount of time required and the limited time allocated to training currently. It's a struggle to hold a 1-day class in a corporate training environment. I'm not sure how a corporate professional would participate in a MOOC. This is one of three proposals that I'm interested in (other than me own, of course) but would need more relative to a topic to decide whether to join in or not.

Tiffany Crosby
6:04pm 14 January 2013


Is there a particular topic you would want to use to explore the feasibility of developing a MOOC corporate learning platform? As a corporate trainer facilitator, I'm also curious as to whether a MOOC would work in a corporate training environment. I share your concerns about the amount of time required and the limited time allocated to training currently. It's a struggle to hold a 1-day class in a corporate training environment. I'm not sure how a corporate professional would participate in a MOOC. This is one of three proposals that I'm interested in (other than me own, of course) but would need more relative to a topic to decide whether to join in or not.

Julie Pisano
12:35am 21 January 2013


Hi Lauri ... I'm interested in looking at corporate training too and find similar reactions to Tiffany.  I'm keen to pursue my own need for the corporate sector but am interested to share ideas and consider feedback from a simlar context.

(Although I work for a University, my role provides learning programs to staff which face the same issues in timeframes, availability. geographical locations and connections)

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