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Appears in:
Pages: 4673-4680
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.0207

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain

EMPLOYER PERCEPTION OF MOOC CERTIFICATES IN THE PERSONNEL SELECTION PROCESS

S. Dreisiebner

University of Graz (AUSTRIA)
MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are freely available online courses that have no entry barriers and are aiming at unlimited participation. MOOCs commonly offer some kind of credentials, which ranges from digital badges, to certificates of participation and awarding regular college credits. While the use of MOOCs for corporate training gains popularity among employers and is appreciated by employees [1] it could be assumed that MOOC certificates are also appreciated as informal proof of additional qualifications and the willingness to life-long-learning in the personnel selection process. Nevertheless, there is a lack of peer-reviewed literature to proof this [2]. On the other hand, employees assume that employers do not honor their MOOC certificates as they see them not linked closely enough to job-related learning [1]. Acknowledging this gap in literature, the aim of this study is to answer the following research question: What is the perception of employers about MOOC certificates presented in the personnel selection process?

As MOOCs are still relatively less known among employers [3], well-educated and technology-related start-up entrepreneurs are most likely to have an opinion on MOOC certificates in the personnel selection process. Therefore, this study draws on a sample of five start-up entrepreneurs from the city of Graz, Austria, that have been interviewed through semi-structured interviews in March 2018. The start-up community in the city of Graz can be described as relatively new community that consists of young entrepreneurs that are aware of new technologies. The interviews consisted of three parts: In the first part, the entrepreneurs have been asked to elaborate on their personnel selection process and what are for them important selection criteria for employees. The second part focused on their personal experience with MOOCs. The third part draw on their own perception of MOOCs in the personnel selection. The interviews were afterwards analyzed following an inductive approach of a summarizing content analysis.

The results support in several ways existing assumptions drawn up by online editorials and opinion pieces. First, they show that employers are skeptical about the validity of MOOC certificates. While they do not implicate for them that the applicant is familiar with the topic stated on the certificates, they appreciate them as a sign of self-sufficiency and self-propulsion. Hereby is does not make a difference if formal certificates are presented or the applicant just claims to have attended some MOOCs. Second, they draw a difference between young and well-educated entrepreneurs who know MOOCs and partially use them for their own training and older entrepreneurs with less formal education that do not know MOOCs. In general, the start-up community seems to value formal education less than job experience.

References:
[1] M. Egloffstein and D. Ifenthaler, “Employee Perspectives on MOOCs for Workplace Learning,” TechTrends, vol. 61, no. 1, pp. 65–70, 2017.
[2] C. Banks and E. Meinert, “THE ACCEPTABILITY OF MOOC CERTIFICATES IN THE WORKPLACE,” in MCCSIS 2016, P. A. M. Kommers, A. Abraham, and J. Roth, Eds., Madeira: IADIS Press, op. 2016, pp. 215–218.
[3] A. W. Radford et al., “The employer potential of MOOCs: A mixed-methods study of human resource professionals’ thinking on MOOCs,” IRRODL, vol. 15, no. 5, http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/1842/3065, 2014.
@InProceedings{DREISIEBNER2018EMP,
author = {Dreisiebner, S.},
title = {EMPLOYER PERCEPTION OF MOOC CERTIFICATES IN THE PERSONNEL SELECTION PROCESS},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.0207},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.0207},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {4673-4680}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Dreisiebner
TI - EMPLOYER PERCEPTION OF MOOC CERTIFICATES IN THE PERSONNEL SELECTION PROCESS
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.0207
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 4673
EP - 4680
ER -
S. Dreisiebner (2018) EMPLOYER PERCEPTION OF MOOC CERTIFICATES IN THE PERSONNEL SELECTION PROCESS, ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 4673-4680.
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