Online Professional Education and MOOCs

Employee Development
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Chloe Xu
Director, Australia

Online Professional Education and MOOCs

🔥NEW Online education and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have become a popular option for many who want to learn something alongside their day job. Online education offers learners, wherever they come from, a range of benefits, which include wide-ranging subjects, low fees, zero travel costs, time flexibility and most importantly saving considerable time.

Despite the popularity of platforms such as 12manage, Coursera, edX, and Udemy, most organisations, those who struggle with training budgets included, still fail to recognize the online training potential and miss the opportunities. A study conducted by M. Hamori reveals two main reasons behind that:

- Companies don't know that employees are educating themselves or taking courses on their own.
- Companies have never thought of online education as an alternative to formal employee training.

The research also finds out that training and development are regarded as important by young talented employees. Providing them with regular and continuous training greatly improve their commitment to work and the employer.

Once organisations identify the opportunity of online education and/or leveraging MOOCs for employee development, they can take the following actions:
  • Executives need to prioritise training and development as a core strategy and invest in related activities;
  • Managers ought to make sure the idea of online education takes root at all levels of the organisation;
  • Start from a pilot plan to ensure the study program will be more relevant to the actual needs;
  • Utilise online education and/or MOOCs to build an organisation's border competencies, don't focus only on the core ones;
  • Line managers can play a role in giving instructions to team members who are studying the same subject or course;
  • Make learning outcomes one of the employee performance criteria.
Online education will be an even more important tool for individual development in the coming period. Organisations should support the effort and don't let their employees make the learning journey on their own.

Source: Hamori, M. 2018. Can MOOCs Solve Your Training Problem? Harvard Business Review, 96(1): 70-76.

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