Mercer bets on MOOCs
- Mercer, the global consulting firm, has announced a strategic alliance with edX, a massive open online course (MOOC) provider.
- The move will provide Mercer employer clients with access to coursework from more than 100 top universities and institutions, according to a press release.
- Founded by Harvard and MIT in 2012, edX says it is the only MOOC provider that is both non-profit and open source. Mercer says the alliance will enable it to curate catalogs of courses based on clients’ specific learning objectives, with the hope of bridging skills gaps.
MOOCs fell out of favor with employers in recent years, but may be poised for a comeback. The tech was plagued by low completion rates, but employers and educators have responded by including more social and personal interaction. The results have been promising, giving L&D professionals a reason to take a second look.
More tech companies are looking at MOOCs, as well. Microsoft, Linux and others are designing their own MOOCs to address the skills gaps employers are experiencing globally. And as companies note that the skills shortage is a top concern, the technology could provide one more tool in educators' toolbox, potentially addressing the needs of both businesses and job seekers.