Beyond Training: How MOOCs Can Benefit Companies

While higher education is involved in a two-steps-forward, one-step-back dance with MOOCs, many businesses are looking for ways to incorporate this new and evolving form of online learning into their training and development programs. In a recent article for Business2Community, Josh Clement, president of Soundview, a new source for free online video business skills courses, describes three ways MOOCs can enhance both employee productivity and company profits.

Business Flexibility
Flexibility is one of the major advantages of MOOCs across all audiences. Clement says that businesses can benefit in particular because learners can pick and choose the courses they need, rather than having to enroll in full certificate or degree programs. As the demand for more just-in-time workforce education is growing, so is the number of options available for free online business training.

Team Building
I’ve devoted a good deal of time on this blog to discussing why MOOCs are much more social than critics claim they are, and Clement echoes this idea by suggesting that MOOCs “embody a method of learning that asks learners to take center stage and work together.” Using social media and other communication tools, MOOCs promote an environment where discussion and collaboration can enhance business success.

Setting Goals
Goal setting is as important to learner success as it is to business success. Clement notes that some MOOCs require learners to explicitly state goals as part of the course and that businesses can use this strategy to help employees both finish their training and set goals in their work, “helping them stay motivated as they become more productive.”

MOOCs can potentially offer many other advantages for businesses, beyond just providing enhanced access to training for employees. Bryant Nielson, a corporate MOOC advocate who writes the blog Your Training Edge, has over the past year identified several benefits of the courses in organizations, including for creating and enhancing a corporate culture, fostering peer learning, and providing performance support.

What are some other ways MOOCs can boost employee productivity and company profits?

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