A whitepaper from Docebo on massive open online courses (MOOCs) explores the genre’s popularity in the corporate learning world and its future viability in the academic world.


The whitepaper is the result of a recent webinar, which featured a lively discussion between four online learning specialists:

  • John Leh, CEO and Lead Analyst at Talented Learning – an LMS selection consultant who helps organizations plan and implement technology strategies that support extended enterprise learning.
  • Dr Mike Orey, an Associate Professor at the University of Georgia – a teacher, researcher, designer, developer and visionary.
  • Aaron Silvers – a designer, technologist and strategist responsible for helping to bring massively adopted learning technologies into organizations around the world, notably SCORM and xAPI (otherwise known as Tin Can).  He also leads the IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee charged with the international industry standardization of the xAPI.
  • Erica LeBlanc, the Operations Development Manager for the IP and Science division of Thomson Reuters, where she manages a team of instructional designers focusing on the creation and delivery of customized sales training courses.


In addition, the whitepaper contains an ‘afterword’ by Josh Squires, Docebo’s Chief Operating Officer, EMEA, in which he argues that, while the idea of millions of people collaborating on a single subject in a shared learning environment is exciting, in reality MOOCs are unlikely to attain their original promise. Josh believes that MOOCs are still struggling to find a market niche within the corporate world – since it’s difficult for any but the largest corporations to generate a following around a subject that they’re willing to make freely available to everyone.


Josh Squires.


On the other hand, MOOCs seem to abound in the academic world – but those offering the MOOCs are now wondering how to make money from the intellectual property that comprises these courses.


MOOCs provide greater access to learning and a wider range of knowledge from different cultures and countries but, as the Docebo webinar participants agreed, technology isn’t beneficial merely because it’s there. Nonetheless, MOOCs have already shown their potential to disrupt the academic and corporate learning worlds — in terms of price, technology and even pedagogy – even if research shows that MOOC participants tend to come from the already well-educated and privileged in society.


Docebo’s whitepaper – following the lines of the webinar discussion – considers ten MOOC-related questions:

  1. What’s a MOOC?
  2. What’s the future for MOOCs?
  3. From a corporate perspective, what types of MOOCs are there, how are they being implemented and why would a corporation want a MOOC?
  4. Are MOOCs really a disruptive force in learning?
  5. What’s the primary benefit to businesses offering MOOCs?
  6. Will MOOCs up-end the fundamental structure of teaching – especially in a corporate setting?
  7. What will be the effect of MOOCs in developing countries and immature learning markets?
  8. How do you see corporate acceptance of MOOC-based education?
  9. How can you close the gap between MOOCs’ high enrolment and low completion rates?
  10. Are MOOCs actually disrupting anything?


Josh Squires commented: “There are models that have proven successful within some organizations so, if your heart is set on a MOOC, there’s a case to be made to launch one. However, you should examine your business requirements and evaluate whether a MOOC is needed to solve your issue, or whether some high quality, targeted learning can achieve your objective.”


To access the Docebo MOOC whitepaper, visit: https://www.docebo.com/landing/learning-management-system/moocs-whitepaper.php?PRBOB