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OGE delivers its first Massive Open Online Course

July 2, 2014

by Walter M. Shaub, Jr.

One of OGE’s top priorities is training agency ethics officials to carry out the mission of the executive branch ethics program. Our training team is always working to develop innovative new ways to deliver high quality training to the greatest number of ethics officials at the lowest possible cost. I am excited to tell you about the team’s latest experiment with a new training format: a Massive Open Online Course or MOOC. 

As used by our training team, the term MOOC applies to a course that OGE presents live, online, and free of charge to a virtually unlimited number of students. After the live presentation, OGE leaves a recorded version of the course online for additional students to view in the future.

This format enables OGE to reach a broader audience and makes OGE’s work more transparent to the public than ever before.  During the live broadcasts, this new format allows students to pose questions both verbally over phone lines and in writing on social media. Mindful that practice makes perfect, our training team delivers an active learning experience by incorporating exercises between MOOC sessions so that students can practice what they learn.

Even in the early stages of this experiment, initial results have been very encouraging. More than 200 executive branch ethics officials registered for OGE’s first two MOOC presentations on June 16 and June 23. Feedback from participants has been enthusiastic, and members of our training team are looking forward to incorporating suggestions for refining their online presentations and use of the technology.

Whether you are an agency ethics official or an interested member of the public, check out OGE’s MOOCs and other distance learning courses on our Google+ Page.