ALISON is a global online learning community, based in Ireland, that has been providing free learning resources since 2007. When you talk about Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC) the conversation usually revolves around Coursera and EdX. ALISON though has been delivering the same type of content before both Coursera and EdX were even founded.
More than anything, I am in love with the global community learning creates and ALISON is a perfect example of that. A paragraph from their websites "About" page does wonderful job summarizing the goal they want to achieve.
"More than anything, learning with ALISON will improves confidence giving you the hunger to learn more and make you more independent, helping you achieve your own destiny in life and to be as content and productive as you can be in the world of work. The most important thing you can do now is begin."
ALISON provides over 750 courses in 92 subjects. They are grouped into 9 categories; diploma courses, business and enterprise skills, digital literacy & IT skills, personal development & soft skills, languages, schools curriculum, health & safety & compliance, health literacy, and financial & economic literacy
ALISON is designed to help professionals like us gain real world skills without a huge financial investment. I also love how they diligently and patiently go about their business while Coursera and EdX get all the attention. ALISON is a wonderful example of an open learning provider focused purely on the joy of learning.
Even though the origins of MOOCs are under debate in my opinion the idea started in Canada with the work of George Siemens, Stephen Downes, and David Cormier (shout out to all my favorite Canadian friends, you know who you are), the "Big 3" though are usually credited as being the first MOOC providers. This also started to create a stereotype that all MOOCs are just focused on North America which as you will see is definitely not the case. The following ten MOOC providers are spread all over the world which makes me so happy because the simple idea of open free education is a worldwide concept that must be shared. I created this list a little over six months ago so I am sure there are more out there but this hopefully provides you a solid beginning to find more resources that will help you grow as a project manager and servant leader with world class strategic business skills and technical skills that are second to none.
The simple beauty of this list is that is represents MOOCs in almost every major language on almost every continent. In Africa, nonprofit organizations like Generation Rwandaare taking full advantage of their internet connection to provide students opportunities that some people in America are taking for granted. Generation Rwandais providing seed funding for Kepler University. The goal there is to provide students an opportunity to live and work together while they earn a bachelor’s degree online using MOOC material accredited by U.S. and European universities. The school is based on a blended-learning modelin partnership with Southern New Hampshire Universityand will only cost $1,000/year. This is similar to Coursera’s Learning Hubswhere students have a physical classroom to access Courseramaterial alongside other peers and colleagues. Spire is a similar program in Kenya which is currently under development. Also along the same lines as Kepler Universitya business incubator and arts center built in downtown Bangalore, India is home to Jaaga. The goal is to develop computer programmers so they can jump into the job market after one year of intensive studies. Students will study MOOC content in partnership with volunteer facilitators and online mentors from around the world.
The goal of PM Nerd is to show you alternative resources where you can study and grow in your project management career. Hopefully this posts shows you that if students in Bangalore or Rwanda can use MOOC content to launch their careers, what could happen if you look beyond the standard PDU requirements and used MOOCs to design your project management career? Organizations like PMI do a great job providing us the framework to focus our efforts on leadership, strategic business, and technical skills. MOOCs then provide the resources for you to study almost any subject so you can become a more effective strategic servant leader at a very affordable rate.
If you know of any other MOOC providers not on this list, please share them in the comments.
Thank you for sharing this moment and I hope you have a fantastic day.