Wednesday 28 January 2015


One of the biggest changes in my life over the last couple of years has been the incorporate of MOOC learning.  Coursera is getting close to being the most commonly used app on my phone and I'm probably always doing about 30 different MOOCs at any one time.  That's not necessarily a good thing as I don't always get to finish and therefore get all the learning I might like.  But I do get lots of learning!

I remember of the things Dave Ulrich noted at Artof.HR was that MOOCs don't work because most people only audit them (vs getting a certificate) and auditing doesn't give accountability.  So adoption trails away.  Well, I think that depends upon the MOOC, and of course and individual's level of attention and interest.  And as I wrote earlier, does it matter anyway, as long as they're still learning.  (I accept it may matter to a MOOC provider but it's a great boost to the world's total amount and rate of learning.)

One of the MOOCs I started last year was Kevin Werbach's Gamification course on Coursera.  You may be able to see from the screen shot that I only managed to get into lesson 1.1.  That's no criticism of Kevin - I was just very busy at the time.  But it did look as if it it was going to be a great MOOC and I liked the way Kevin described it at the Gamification World Congress in Barcelona later in the year.

Basically the MOOC is full of projects, challenges and interactive sessions which targets participants' interests and skillsets.  For example he presented a slide with a picture like to one above, next to another from later in the course to see if participants picked up what had changed (presumably not, since I've learnt from Dan Ariely's Coursera course that we don't tend to notice these sorts of things.)  Even when it's a lot more significant than a Boggle game disappearing off a shelf.  (The Human Zoo have got some great tests on this sort of thing too.)

I.e. Kevin's MOOC has been gamified and that enables him to democratise involvement and people stay on board.  More people, anyhow.

Kevin's suggestions were directed at Education but businesses are applying MOOC so they do apply directly to HR too.  But my main learning from all of this is about creating the right environment and culture and then measuring this - and not worrying too much about completion rates for particular programmes.

Oh, and the thing that reminded me about this post I'd drafted last May was that Kevin's doing another session of the gamification MOOC on Coursera - starting now.  So here's your chance to learn about MOOCs and gamification in one go.  What's not to like?

See you there!

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