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Monday, October 7, 2013

MOOCs and Corporate Learning

Since 2000, massive open online courses (MOOCs) have gone from wine-tasting classes to instruction from prestigious institutions such as Harvard, Stanford, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The technology behind MOOCs has gone mobile. Investment over the same period has risen from around $800 million to $1.2 billion so far in 2013.

Corporate learning lags, but that could change, according to Josh Bersin in his blog post for Chief Learning Officer.

“Our learning environments are pretty far behind,” he wrote. “We’re still using LMS platforms developed 10 years ago, e-learning courses that look more like cartoons or audio-enabled flash cards, and we still don’t have enough mobile learning environments. Yes, there are many exciting new programs out there, but most corporate learning systems aren’t nearly as compelling as YouTube.”

Bersin says he believes change will come because corporations are willing and able to invest in the platforms, while the creators of those tools, to monetize their products, will look to corporations for capital. Coursera and edX already have corporate development teams working on potential partnerships.

In addition, MOOCs can be used as accredited learning for corporations that are used to spending millions on core-skills training.

“According to the Gates Foundation, in 2012 more than 170 startups in this area were funded for a total capital investment of more than $1.2 billion,” Bersin wrote. “We in the $130 billion corporate learning market are going to see great benefits from all these new ideas, so stay tuned.”

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