Blending MOOC on Public Speaking at JLT Group


JLT Group is one of the world’s largest providers of insurance and employee benefits related advice, brokerage and associated services including an office of over 850 employees in Mumbai, India

Massive open online course (MOOC) is an online course aimed at large-scale interactive participation and open access via the web. It has caught on with web learners across the globe and convenience is the highest rated aspect of the MOOC experience. I thought this video explains MOOC in a simplistic fashion – What is a MOOC ? The New York Times dubbed 2012 -‘The Year of the MOOC,’ and it has since become one of the hottest topics in education. Time magazine said that free MOOCs open the door to the ‘Ivy League for the Masses.’ This video explains MOOCs – What is a MOOC ?


We have been encouraging employees to pursue various MOOCs which are contextual to their work areas. We think it’s amongst the best ways to empower the workforce by interactive online participation, watching videos followed by assessments and a whole lot more.

Key challenges

There were two key roadblocks that we discovered exist in the MOOC journey:

1. Lack of social presence and the high level of autonomy required to operate in such a learning environment.

2. Only a small percentage of students who sign up stay the course.

We also realised that these challenges were not unique to our environment and were common issues faced by all MOOC students. There are however certain steps that can be taken to succeed in a MOOC and this video explains that well – 5 steps to succeed in a MOOC

Our solution

We decided to put the power of communities and peer to peer engagement to work in order to solve the above mentioned challenges. The launchpad of this experiment was the “Public Speaking MOOC” offered by the University of Washington on Coursera. This 10 week course taught by Dr. Matt McGarrity presented the perfect opportunity to us to launch this learning experiment of running  MOOC as an in class session.

Sunder - Learning Cafe

The Mechanics

We announced this course to all our employees and received an overwhelming response. Over 35 employees attended the orientation session. Given the subject, the enthusiasm did not surprise us.The orientation was an opportunity to introduce the mechanics of a MOOC to new MOOC learners and also explain the rules of engagement within the in-class sessions.

Participants meet once every week for 30 mins to watch the instructional videos together and check on each others progress. The discussion continues further on our enterprise social network. The broad objectives being.

– Disciplined Learning approach

– Peer to peer learning

– Commitment to successful completion

We are certain that the 10 week journey will inevitably see its share of peaks and troughs. We will update this blog during the course of this journey.

Blending MOOC on Public Speaking at JLT Group

This blog has been republished from Learning Experiments blog by Sunder Ramachandran who is a Senior Training Manager with Jardine Lloyd Thompson India. Connect with him on twitter.

Blending MOOC on Public Speaking at JLT Group


  1. Taking my own MOOC as an illustration, when the course website opens to registered students next weekend (Saturday March 2), they will initially find themselves in a website populated with several pages of information about the course structure, together with a bit of background information relevant to the course content, but none of the lectures, assignments, quizzes, problem sets, or tutorials will be available. Those are released at specified times throughout the ten weeks the course will run, starting with Lecture 1 on March 4.

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