March Big Question – Open Content in Workplace Learning
This month’s Big Question is “how do we leverage open content in workplace learning?” To learn more about about some of opportunities available in open content, I visited the sites listed on the Big Question post. These were OER Commons and Open Courseware Consortium. For the first time, I perused these sites. A bit embarrassed that I have not visited these sites before, but it is never too late to find new learning opportunities. My first impression was that these are very heavy on the academic end. They certainly have many opportunities for learning and development. In fact, I found a course on e-learning accessibility, an interest of mine.
So, back to the Big Question. I am confident there are corporate trainers creating the same training content as their brethren. Wouldn’t it be great to upload those software sims, leadership or sales courses, etc. somewhere that other companies’ staff can access them. And in return, I don’t need to create those ______ software sims because XYZ, Inc. made their sims available to my staff. Oh, how great would that be?
Sorry to piss on the parade, but here are the challenges that pop into my mind that make sharing corporate training difficult:
- Most corporate training is designed specifically to the company’s audience. For example, the training probably includes policies and procedures as they pertain to internal staff.
- Much of the content is proprietary information not to be shared externally.
- Often quality training is seen as one of the things that “gives us the edge” over the competitor, why just hand it over?
- “Do we have to talk to legal about whether we can do this?” Will they find a potential liability?
Would I like to leverage open content in the workplace? Yes. Something I will do is to keep an eye out not only for open content that will benefit my company, but also what am I producing that can be used as open content. Of course, anything shared as open content has to overcome the fore-mentioned hurdles.