Updated December 9, 2013—Professionals have a new opportunity to build and demonstrate their qualified skills to potential employers and to take the reins of their career development. LinkedIn has formed a new partnership with popular MOOC providers and e-learning companies to establish professional credit for completed online-learning courses.
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Launched on November 14th, LinkedIn’s new “Direct-to-Profile Certification” program will allow users to display official certifications from MOOCs and other online courses on their professional profiles. Participating partners include the leading MOOC providers Coursera, Udemy, and Udacity; MIT and Harvard’s edX MOOC program; the online education provider, Pearson; and e-learning companies Lynda.com and Skillsoft. You can search hundreds of MOOCs in the comprehensive database at LearningAdvisor.com to find a course.
LinkedIn’s pilot program creates an easy and automated way for professionals to add online course credentials to their LinkedIn profiles. As learners complete online courses from these partners, the user will receive an e-mail with a link to a prepopulated digital certification with all relevant information about the course. All users have to do is click “Add to profile” from the e-mail to automatically add these certifications to their LinkedIn profiles.
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The certification is designed to acknowledge professionals who pursue continuing education through online courses and to maximize the value of MOOCs that offer free and open learning. A LinkedIn profile is an at-a-glance snapshot of a professional’s experience, skills, and achievements. The addition of online course certifications on this profile will help professionals show in a concrete way how they are broadening their skills and meeting changing market needs through the opportunities available in online learning.
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LinkedIn’s new program also adds an additional incentive for learners to follow through with their online courses and complete all the required assignments. With the tangible benefit of displaying their credentials to prospective employers, users may be more likely to stick with a MOOC when they would otherwise be tempted to quit. With dropout rates still widely quoted at around 90%, this extra motivation for learners may also boost MOOC retention rates. An increase in course completions could impact the future of MOOC development.
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LinkedIn’s first-of-its-kind program is a huge step toward connecting the MOOC revolution to career development. This program has the potential to help increase the legitimacy of MOOC learning and establish a mainstream method for professionals to expand and deepen their job-related skills.
Has your employer asked about the skills you learned in your MOOC?