Giving value to learning has always been a challenge especially for those of us dedicated to lifelong and workplace learning, and the options available to us all to learn from MOOCs and Open Education Content resources are becoming massive – pun intended.

Here at Learning Light we have observed the rise of MOOCs, listing them and  noting them in our 2011 mid year market review as something to look out for on the near horizon. More recently we wondered how they would impact the world of corporate learning? ….will there be a cross over? As MOOCs have been largely focused on HE to date, and offering an alternate way of achieving a degree level qualification.

It is evident that with the vast learner choice of content there comes a conundrum, conundrum part1: that learners will want to pick and mix from this huge choice.

Interestingly, we are seeing high levels of student drop out on MOOCs, is it because of learner dissatisfaction? Or is it that the learner has decided they have discovered and learnt all they really wanted to know and are going to move on? More research is undoubtedly needed.

What we do know is learners are changing, “knowing what I need to know when I need to know it” sounds positively   “Rumsfeldian” but it is the modern way of looking at learning, Jay Cross once described Workflow Learning ….learning aligned to the learners needs at the point of need, with smart IT systems serving up the learning. However, much of the Open Content and MOOC courses are not aligned to the workflow of an organisation, but to qualifications. How will this “bridge” to the corporate learning world?

So here comes the second part to the conundrum: the currency of much learning (but not all) comes with accreditations, certifications and qualifications etc that give provenance to the learning, but as argued above learners want and are demanding flexibility and on-demand learning to meet their needs, – 1 billion I-Tunes U downloads really is telling us something.

Well part of the answer to this conundrum could be the launch into the open content eco-sphere of Degreed”. This new free service is one that in their own words:  “scores and validates your lifelong education from both accredited (i.e. Harvard) and non-accredited (i.e. I tunes U,, Khan academy, etc.) Sources.

This is branded “Jail Breaking the Degree”,…. A great term! and indeed gives huge choice and indeed control to the learner, this approach is what we in the UK may prefer to call “Pick and Mix”.

The benefits are potentially huge to students and life-long learners in the workplace who working in an organisation can accredit learning undertaken while solving day to day problems – we call this On Demand learning.

Research by Learning Light indicates that On-Demand learning is a huge requirement of the modern organisation, and ensuring the quality of the learning a key challenge to the learner and the organisation. CPD points can play a role, but “Degreed” will also play a role.