Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for intranet managers

Massive Open Online Courses – known as MOOCs – are revolutionising access to higher education. By delivering courses through video lectures and online quizzes, university-level education can be made available to participants all over the world, free of charge.

From lessons on molecular evolution to classes on business strategy, millions of people across the world have jumped at the chance to learn something new. The New York Times declared 2012 the year of the Mooc, and last year the UK’s Open University launched its own version, Futurelearn.

The number and variety of MOOCs continues to grow, and now there are a wide range of courses around that could help intranet managers expand their skills and knowledge. Here are our top picks of courses to help intranet pros develop their skills in 2014.


An intranet is only as good as the content on it. If you’d like to develop your content skills, check out Content Strategy (Coursera). This is aimed at people who have content development experience but want to take a more strategic approach to understanding audiences and content needs.

Business Strategy

A great intranet is one which supports the needs of the business. There are a range of courses on offer that can help you understand strategy so you can design intranets that meet strategic goals. Two of the best are:


Standing still isn’t an option for any organisation. We need to constantly innovate and drive innovation. But understanding the mechanisms involved in driving innovation and creativity is a complex mix of skills involving sociology, psychology and process design. Knowing the theory behind the concepts and practices is essential for anyone involved in designing the solutions.


Here at Intranetizen we’re strong advocates of measuring outcomes, not outputs. But that means having a firm understanding of data and analysis.

All four of the Intranetizen team have taken one or more MOOCs, and highly recommend them as a way to fit study around the day job.

Have you studied a MOOC course? Share your tips and experiences in the comments below.

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  1. Carol Maughan

    I completed FutureLearn’s Web Science course and found it to be very interesting. It covers a wide range of subject areas with a greater depth of information available than I expected from a free course. The course is well-structured and integrates opportunities to interact with other people and with the course leaders. My only regret is that I wasn’t able to make as much of the course as I wanted. Although I completed the course and passed all of the tests, I was only able to spend an hour or so per week on it. Even so, I learned a lot and enjoyed working through the materials. It’s obvious that a great deal of time and effort has gone into developing the course and materials.

  2. Elizabeth Marsh

    Having come across mooc-list.com a few more caught my eye. I haven’t tried any of them (yet) – the Future Tech and Design Thinking courses are both tempting me.

    Writing for the Web (Open2Study)

    Design Thinking (iversity)

    I know this is more aimed at senior managers, but I wonder if it would be helpful to intranet managers trying to get to grips with intranet strategy/ understanding strategic perspectives…
    Strategic Management (Open2Study)

    Getting a deeper understanding of how organizations work can only help intranet managers develop tools that work for them…
    Organizational Analysis (Coursera)

    For those thinking more broadly about digital workplace and digital progress more broadly…
    Technology and the Future: Managing Change and Innovation (Canvas.net)

    And for days when the intranet is getting you down…
    The Science of Happiness (edX)

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