Why CEOs Should Miss the MOOC Train at Their Peril

Coursera just raised another $20 million in funding as the MOOC market continues to gain traction in the marketplace. The money that has been raised by Coursera, EdX, Udacity, and Udemy is at least an indicator that more and more people are seeking this channel for learning new things.

This trend has powerful implications, going far beyond higher education. Corporations are beginning to leverage the power of massive open online courses. I have written about this trend several times over the past year taking a very specific perspective…that corporations can use MOOCs to train employees. I also have written how companies can design MOOCs to that they are effective as possible.

Below is a brief summary of these posts. I think you will find them valuable. At the very least, you will find them thought provoking.

MOOCs as High Potential Breeding Ground
Leadership development is a perfect topic that can be facilitated using the structure of a MOOCs. After all, many organizations have leadership in multiple offices and scheduling live sessions is a logistical challenge. It is also very expensive. But using a MOOC structure, companies can develop current leaders and potential leaders at scale and on an on-going basis. I describe how in this post.

Why You Might Consider MOOCs to Teach Company Values
Company values is another topic perfect for MOOCs. Many companies claim that their culture and company values are unique and a competitive advantage. A MOOC structure is a great tool for executive teams (especially founders) to get their message across in a learning environment so employees can learn directly from the founder, CEO, and/or Executive team.

CEOs Can (Should) Use MOOCs to Align and Engage
In this piece, I argue that every CEO should run six week MOOCs in on-going cycles, open to all employees on the subjects of company strategy, customer-focus, goals, and any other top priority of the business. There is no excuse for executive teams of companies of any size to not have a directly communication and learning channel to all employees. Not with the power of the MOOC so easily accessible.

How to Design a MOOC in Your Company
In this post, I lay out specific ways to design MOOCs in a company so they can be run effectively. It is not nearly as difficult as you think.