Distance education, which had started by the letter teaching period and did not get the chance to reach very large audiences at the beginning, has started to be implemented almost entirely through Web technologies today. Distance education is enriched primarily by a new material that is classified as wiki and can be called “open/free encyclopedia” and today it has significantly increased its spread with online education courses that are open to all. These education courses, called massively open online tutoring (MOOC), are systems that aim to teach online to anyone with an Internet connection, without any limits. The provided education includes a wide range of courses from hobbies to personal or career development and they are presented as free. Charging on most of these education is carried out directly by the provider of education or by an accredited organization during the certification of education, just after an assessment and it is totally optional.
The courses in MOOCs offer a rich variety of presentations, by benefiting from the developments of today's Internet technologies. In these courses, the content is supported with videos as well as visuals. These courses may also include live sessions or forums where interaction can be provided with other learners taking the same course.
Khan Academy, one of the most important examples of MOOC, is a project launched in 2006 with educational videos published in an online video publishing application. As of today, Khan Academy has become a MOOC in which approximately two million people receive education.
Coursera, a similar MOOC, publishes hundreds of course content in many languages in order to reach users from all over the world. EdX, a project launched by Harvard and MIT universities together in 2012, has increased the diversity of courses with professional content and the number of instructors by collaborating with many universities over time .
The most important advantage of MOOCs, in which all charming features are offered free of charge, is that they enable learners to act on their own free will for their education requirement that they set themselves. Adults are also more likely to successfully complete the training programs they started with high motivation. In addition to these important advantages, MOOCs can be used independent from time and space due to the fact that they are often used through mobile technologies today. Therefore, with these features, it offers full-time working people a unique for workplace training. Research results that have analyzed the learners’ profiles of MOOCs have shown that more than half of the users of these systems are full-time or part-time employees. There is a similar proportion of learners who have bachelor's and master's degrees. Moreover, the majority of adults who benefit from MOOCs (approximately 70%) are individuals who have already completed at least one course through these systems. Some qualitative research carried out on registered users in MOOCs has revealed that the courses that employees take from these systems contribute to their professional development. Furthermore, the participants working in the service sectors stated that the trainings they received helped to improve the quality of the services they offered.
One of the two criticisms raised against MOOCs by educational reformers is that these systems lack the features of personalized learning. This contrasts with the philosophy of “one size does not fit all” of adaptive teaching systems, which are considered among recent trends in education. Another criticism is that these systems generally adopt a formal learning approach. But despite these disadvantages, MOOCs provide an important environment for training employees in the workplace. Through their accredited certification, employees can document and can include these trainings in their portfolios if they wish. Many workplaces encourage their employees to receive training through MOOCs, as they believe they create a sense of belonging to the institution in which they work.
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