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MOOC is Not a Dirty Word

You wouldn’t be blamed for thinking MOOC stood not for the traditional acronym of Massive Open Online Course, but maybe “Meh! Obsolete Online Courses” or “Massively Overrated Online Courses.” The promise of the academic-style MOOC for corporate training has been tried and has been found wanting.

However, there is a different breed of MOOC, the corporate MOOC. The corporate MOOC approach is wildly successful for a range of business challenges, proven over and over by real corporations solving real challenges.

But, the acronym does fall down. Although the cohort-driven, time-bound programs that organizations are running internally might be Massive, they also might not be. They’re not Open as they’re generally for a specific company’s employees. And although they are indeed still Online, they may be better described as learning journeys or even multi-year programs, not the limited term Course.

Here are a few alternate meanings for the MOOC acronym that make much more sense in the corporate context:

  • Meaningful Online Organized Collaboration
  • Multipurpose Organized Online Cohorts
  • Meaningful Outcomes from Online Cohorts
  • Measurable Optimized Online Collaboration
  • Massive Outcomes from Online Collaboration
  • Modern Organized Online Collaboration

You get the idea. So just what is a Multipurpose Organized Online Cohort or Meaningful Online Organized Collaboration good for? Anything business-critical. Why? Well let’s break down some of these terms:

Cohort: a group of individuals going through a learning experience together, yet at their own pace (aka semi-synchronously, aka I have to do all the reading and watching of videos during the same week as everyone else but can consume them at any time of any day during that week that works with my schedule).

Collaboration: Learning with and from others (which was selected by both learners and CLOs as the best way to tackle business-critical training topics [link to survey]). It’s how we learn best in a classroom but without any of the downsides of synchronous attempts to cram information into our heads in airless conference rooms for hours on end.

Organized: This is sort of a code word for “we mean NOT sucky e-learning”. A well-designed learning experience has an intuitive user interface, a well-organized set of content, and the all-important organization of drawing big flaming arrows from the content directly to your company’s specific business context.

Outcomes: ROI is king. Not content, not context, but results. Business results. Impact on YOUR business by YOUR employees.

What’s a good business challenge to tackle with a MOOC? Leadership! Sales enablement! Onboarding! Anything critical!

Want to learn how to do it right? 

Want some tips for getting started yourself?

Want to discuss how to customize a MOOC approach for your organization?

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