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Discussion: Should You List a MOOC on Your CV?

Search sites like the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and Hack Education and one finds lots of talk about MOOCs, but it’s from the perspective of people enmeshed in the academy and speaking to their peers in the academy. While there is debate over what MOOCs mean for higher education, there is less written for those enrolled in MOOCs. MOOCs, their creators and the students who are taking them, are marching along at the speed of the Internet, while higher education finds itself continually playing catch up and trying to move faster than the plodding pace of committees. The fallout, such as UVA’s Board firing and rehiring its president or Duke’s faculty rejecting Semester Online, are just two examples of this tension.

For traditional students, job seekers, and professionals a question arises. Should or shouldn’t one list a MOOC on their CV or resume? If so, how should a MOOC be listed on a CV? The question is especially relevant for those in professionals like libraries, where tech skills are in demand, but money for continuing education is in short supply. What’s your perspective?

Timothy A. Lepczyk

Tim is an instructional technologist and former librarian. On the side, he writes fiction and poetry, and publishes the magazine Scintilla. You can follow him on Twitter at @thirdcoast.

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3 Comments

Joe Montibello (@firstweet)

I’d list a MOOC as a professional development activity, assuming that I found it valuable to me professionally. I know it’s possible that some employers would see that as a negative in some way (guilt by association, I guess). I would expect that it would be viewed as positive experience and as willingness to invest time in my education by most employers. It’s also a topic that some employers may be interested in building local expertise in.

The only reason I wouldn’t list it is if I had a reason to think a specific institution or hiring manager was fervently anti-MOOC.

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Timothy A. Lepczyk

Thanks for the response, Joe. Responses on Twitter are all falling into the “yes” column with professional development or continuing education as the heading.

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Gary McGath

If I were the one giving the course, definitely (unless, as Joe says, I’m dealing with someone who hates MOOCs). If I’d taken the course, it would depend on who was giving it and how valuable it was as a learning experience.

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