Training Industry: SOAR with Open Educational Resources (OER)

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A lot of transformation is happening in education sector with the advent of Open Educational Resources as a movement. Enormous amount of learning material is available in the space of Open Educational Resources (OER), but the use is mostly limited to academic institutes. There is humongous scope for the training industry to leverage the benefit from OER, especially in the skill development.

There is so much which a training company can do with OER. It can come up with new training approaches by adopting OER and use online model/ blended model for their students, introduce new training modules at a low cost which will certainly provide them a competitive edge over those who keep on following the conventional ways in imparting training.

Either a training company has to adapt to the new environment or it will perish in the market of big players. In this highly competitive industry, to survive one has to adopt the new pedagogies and OER gives them this edge from the rest of the players.

Let us see a few examples how a training company can use OER:

Example 1: Consider, for instance, a course titled “Mobile App Development” is needed in IT curriculum.

Now, this course is readily available as an OER course from one of the best elite University and can be accessed from their website by anyone. A student can take this class for free from this website.

An IT training company can use this material to supplement their own course. They can leave the routine lectures to the website and focus more on hands-on training.

An Entrepreneur can make this course more suitable for entry level students with detailed examples, language translation, development tools and start a training class to teach hands-on course on Mobile app development.

Example 2: Consider a training company that teaches Finance and Accounting to College graduates.

The training company wants to prepare their students in “soft skills” such as interviewing techniques, resume writing, team work etc. Besides the technical skills, these are also needed to land a new job or keep their current job.

To impart this training, the company can select material from the available OER courses for this purpose and use their existing staff instead of hiring an expert in soft skills.

Example 3: Consider a training company teaching an auto repair course to its students.

In the workshop, a training company will have limited samples for hands-on work and demonstration.
Supplementing this with some OER material on-line, they can expose students to many more variations of the workshop in real life environments with videos and simulations.

So in all the above examples, we can see how OER reduces cost, brings value and depth to the existing content, provides opportunity to capture a broader audience, and increase the market size.

Students, as the end users, benefit the most. They can take high quality courses at their own pace and time. If the training is designed in a way that students can interact with their peers (and instructors) with on-line forums and discussion groups, it increases their motivation level but also improves the learning.

There is a lot which OER can offer to the training industry- starting from top quality content to introduction of new courses in less amount of time and making student ‘job-ready’ by providing them the required skills. It’s high time the training industry recognize the scope and effectiveness of OER and take advantage of it.


This work is licensed under CC-BY, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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