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MOOCs Research Well-Received at ATD TechKnowledge 2015

Tuesday, February 24, 2015
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In addition to research reports, whitepapers, infographics, and other materials, ATD’s research also is presented in webcasts and during in-person presentations at conferences and events. This blog post provides some highlights from an Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) and ATD Research report on MOOCs, and the associated presentation at the ATD TechKnowledge 2015 conference and research webcast.

ATD/i4cp’s Research on MOOCs

MOOCs are massive, online, open courses. They are typically free (although sometimes learners must pay to earn credit), and rely on a collaborative approach.  MOOCs got their start in academia, and millions have participated in academic MOOCs, many of which are offered by leading universities. However, critics are fast to point out that most MOOC enrollees never finish.

Realizing the promise MOOCs hold for organizations and their workforces, ATD Research and i4cp surveyed 525 learning and business professionals, and published the findings in December 2014 in the report, MOOCs: Expanding the Scope of Organizational Learning. The study found that less than a quarter of organizations currently use MOOCs in learning. These MOOC users overwhelmingly felt that they broadened the scope of learning opportunities, although the research did find that users of MOOCs in organizations, like academic MOOC users, frequently dropped out.

MOOCs Research at TechKnowledge 2015

In January, Kevin Oakes, CEO of i4cp, presented on MOOCs at ATD’s TechKnowledge Conference in Las Vegas, which provided attendees with information on the latest learning technologies and how to leverage them. During that session, the audience of learning professionals was asked whether their organizations used MOOCs in learning.

No attendees raised their hands, though, confirming the low usage of MOOCs. However, the session participants were enthusiastic about possibly incorporating MOOCs into their organizations’ learning offerings in the future. A few attendees had personally taken MOOCs in their own time, on varied topics.

Highlights from the Research Webcast

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On February 2,2015, ATD Research hosted a free webcast on the MOOCs research, featuring Kevin Oakes and Amy Rouse, director of operations training at AT&T, which leverages MOOCs in its training. The webcast attracted more than 500 registrants, and the recording is available here.

That webcast not only provided an overview of the research findings, but also featured Rouse’s experiences with MOOCs at AT&T. For example, AT&T developed its own well-received internal MOOC that adapted an existing instructor-led class in business writing for MOOC delivery.

The presenters also fielded questions from webcast attendees. One participant asked about the differences between MOOCs and e-learning, and Rouse responded that e-learning typically is more “canned” and occurs at the learner’s own pace, while participants in MOOCs are more engaged with a cohort of other learners and an instructor over several weeks.

Get the Full Report and More

The full report, MOOCs: Expanding the Scope of Organizational Learning is available online. Members have complimentary access to a whitepaper version of the report.

 

 

 

About the Author

Maria Ho is the manager of ATD research services. She serves as ATD's senior research program strategist and designer and provides oversight and direction for all of ATD's internal and external, industry specific, and market research services. Prior to joining ATD, Maria was a public policy researcher, data analyst, and writer at the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C.

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