Massive Open Online Courses, also known as MOOCs, are currently taking corporate training by storm. Small to large enterprises worldwide are quickly turning to these ready-made short online courses to educate their employees about a particular skill, software, industry, or a project. Most short courses are free but others are being offered as premium but usually at a minimal cost. Accessibility is also one of its key highlights as employees can take their courses based on their own schedules. Videos, games, live chats, and other forms of collaboration are what’s being utilised to deliver content and to assess the employee’s grasp of the subject matter.
MOOC vendors have multiplied significantly in recent years but we would like to list down here some of the sites favoured by most companies and their employees.
- Coursera – first started out as a university tool for students where a number of courses where offered online and for free. The founders of Coursera later expanded their course partner network to other top educational institutions so to date, they now have a total of 108 partners from around the globe, all providing courses in the fields of engineering, business, marketing, science, finance, computer science, website development, and other subjects. Most of the courses that you will find on Coursera are free but if you want to receive a verified certificate from the partner university who provided that course, then you will have to pay a fee. This is called being under the “Signature Track.” Some of the business-related short courses that you will find here run under these subject matters: leadership, finance, operations management, and career development.
- edX – is a non-profit MOOC with almost all of its courses offered for free. Science and technology are two of its specialisations. The short courses are also presented through video tutorials, there are reading materials provided to all the students, and an online portal where everyone can chat about their lessons, assignments, and projects.
One of the major difference between edX and other MOOC providers is that it runs on an open source platform meaning other developers can collaborate and contribute to improve other features of the software.
- Udacity – is the so-called online university by Silicon Valley due to the fact that most of the courses offered were developed by tech companies there. These are the likes of Google, Facebook, AT&T, and SalesForce. Again, you may find that all of the courses offered here are about technology and computer science.
- Lynda.com – is more like an online library of high quality educational videos about a wide variety of subjects and exists in the same field as MOOCs which is online learning. Courses are not being offered individually but by subscription which means your access to the videos depends on the plan that you will purchase. Videos are usually cut into segments and run on an average of 3 to 15 minutes per segment. There are currently about 3,500 videos on Lynda.com at the moment and a big percentage focus on business and corporate training – online marketing, project management, data analysis, Microsoft Office programs, etc. It is also almost like YouTube where you can create or save your own list of videos that you want to view later.
- Open2Study – is our answer to Coursera and is managed by a board of directors from various open universities here in Australia. Aside from it being an MOOC, there are also some useful networking features like connecting and chatting with classmates and participating in forums. The short courses that you will find in here are currently for free and if you want to take your studies further, suggestions for accredited qualifications will be made available for you.