Open educational resources (OER) are openly licensed digital assets that are beneficial for learning and research. These resources are freely available to all. Anyone can use, share, and modify it. It sounds too good to be true, right? You are thinking - I don’t need my eLearning vendor anymore. Well, don’t fire him, right away. Consider the entire scenario.
Why Have Organizations Not Grabbed OER Like Hot Cakes?
Open content cuts down training costs. Ideally, companies should grab the opportunities. But, OERs have not really caught on in the corporate sector. The main reason is that open content is usually generic. It is designed for a broad audience. Organizations are looking for training that addresses the specific challenges of their employees. In order to be effective, eLearning courses need to have learning goals that the target audience finds relevant.
But, that does not mean that OER has no future in business training. Organizations need training in generic skills too; for example time management, soft skills, cybersecurity, and so on. OERs are great for such topics. You need not spend time and resources on developing new content. Just plug and play!
Also, it’s not that OERs cannot be used, at all, for organization-specific topics. You can use the open content as a starting point. It sets the ball rolling. For example, you want to create a course on developing a mobile app, for entry-level employees. You see that this course is available on the Stanford University site as open content, although a bit generic. The best way to utilize this opportunity is to use the content from the resource and add some detailed examples and illustrations at your end. The examples should be relevant to the target audience. This approach will save you a lot of time and effort.
MOOCs And Corporate Training
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are open learning resources that are gaining popularity with the corporates. eLearning providers like Lynda, Coursera, and similar are promoting open courseware for employees who want to upgrade their skills. Companies like Google, Yahoo, and others have started using MOOCs as part of their blended learning strategy.
MOOCs are rising the popularity charts because it is convenient. Employees can learn anytime and from anywhere. They can schedule the learning in their free pockets of time. And, of course, they are cost effective. Employees worldwide can access MOOCs at the same time as they are easy to distribute.
Here are top seven ways in which organizations are using MOOCs for their training needs.
In the recently published market report eLearning Market Trends and Forecast: 2017-2021, MOOCs have been shown to double from what it was a couple of years ago. So, even if open content has not been a raging fire, the chances of it catching the fancy of corporate learners is high. But the sizzle may fizzle. Take a look at this infographic for a holistic view. Let’s wait and watch.
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