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Employers' Activities

Employers' Activities

Massive Open Online Course for Board Members of BMOs

Lessons learned from the MOOC for Board Members facilitated by the ITCILO from 24 April to 11 June 2017

As member-driven organizations, Business Member Organizations (BMOs) are confronted with complex issues in managing their internal resources, balancing member’s interests, engaging with their membership and stakeholders as well as maintaining a sound revenue base.

Board Members in BMOs are the ultimate decision-makers. Being on the board of a BMO means having to master a complex set of tasks and being able to take a strategic view on decisions to be taken. It also implies adopting a perspective on strategic planning, governance, income generation or membership management that is unique to these type of organizations. 

Due to their massive, open, online nature Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs are powerful mechanisms to strategically communicate and showcase expertise as well as create communities of peers. MOOCs offer a range of new learning methods that can be used to attract a broad range of new learners

The objectives of this first and only MOOC for Board members of BMOs were to:

  • enhance specific skills and competencies tailored to the role of Board Member in BMOs;
  • give value to the Board Members’ experience and boost their own personal development;
  • include practical tips and quick gains that can make a difference in a Board room;
  • provide an opportunity to learn from peers from all around the world and from the innovations and best practice developed in other BMOs;
  • help build sound foundations for BMOs and add value to Board Members’ engagement in the organization.

After a fully fledged promotion and social media campaign, 224 participants registered to the 5 weeks online course.

The course methodology focused on participatory action-oriented learning where participants had the opportunity to share experience and knowledge, and review their own practices in their BMOs. Participants gained both knowledge and practical skills to enhance their role as effective Board Members of a BMO through a mix of inputs (micro-lessons, readings),experience sharing (case studies, video interviews), practical tips (boardroom checklists, crowdsourcing of solutions) and interactions between peers (discussion fora).

Below are two examples of products co-created by participants:

  • a collection of videos on good practices in the field of membership development. You can find it here 
  • Frequently Asked Questions on strategic planning. You can find them here

While a number of participants took a "pick and choose" approach, 25% of participants kept engaged from start to finish and 11 made it fully to the finish line!

The MOOC developed and implemented by the ITCILO was the first online course ever being offered specifically to Board members of BMOs and focussing on their role. It required significant investment in terms of training material development, promotion and delivery. It was also very innovative in itself as the MOOC methodology was largely unknown to the target audience and a first for the ITCILO Employers’ Programme too!

The overall evaluation results are extremely encouraging. The ITCILO is reflecting on possible further editions!

More information available here

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