New online college to teach soft skills to working adults
- Former Dean of Social Science at Harvard University Stephen M. Kosslyn has founded a new online college aimed at training working adults. Foundry College will focus on imparting knowledge that's in high demand, with classes geared toward adults working middle-skill jobs, and its first class will launch in January. The school has raised $6 million from Learn Capital, an education investment firm.
- Kosslyn said in a press release that the school is designed to help workers improve their skills in problem solving and critical thinking and to improve their abilities in soft skills — talents that so many employers are struggling to find.
- Classes will be scheduled twice a week, running 1.5 hours per session. Instruction time will include instructor-led lectures, debates, student-led breakout groups that include role-playing and other experiential learning opportunities. Courses will build upon each other and ready students for the modern workplace and business management roles, according to the announcement.
Training for almost every industry has shifted from the traditional classroom setting to online platforms that are redefining the e-learning industry. From task-oriented videos to massive open online courses, the digital transformation that may have threatened jobs may be the solution to keeping them and assuring a future-proofed workforce. As Foundry College combines the traditional approach with a more digitized e-learning solution, its idea could be another step toward closing the skills gap.
Experts agree that a combination of instructor-led and digital classes provide the best learning opportunities for employees. And as more businesses and industries look to online learning to upskill employees, trainees and even potential hires, the demand for online learning is booming. Data shows that to boost course completion rates for online learners, social interaction can be the best tool. Moreover, competition and collaboration between students boosts both engagement and a desire to move forward.