Syndicate content

Add new comment

Submitted by Balaji Venkataraman on

This is a nice set of observations. Thanks, Mr. Trucano. One idea I would like to stress is that development thinkers and workers should perhaps not take seriously investor-inspired statements such as "there will only be 10 universities in 50 years from now". Reacting to that kind of glorification is not required. What is important to note is that the MOOC developments have led to a good open source platform- Open edX- for delivery of a wider range of learning-related services than were possible with a number of current platforms and online services. That is a purely operational approach to MOOC from which the only re-producible and relevant development outcome is the platform. Secondly, the role of MOOC's in higher education for degree training is also a debate that is specific to the context of North America and does not carry much meaning when developing countries are concerned. In fact, MOOC type platforms are coming into use for mostly non-degree training. There are a number of examples in China: the site 163(dot)com offers a host of such courses and uses a highly scalable platform. Tsinghua University, ranked as Number One among the BRICS countries has launched a consortium of leading universities of China to offer MOOC's in Mandarin (using Open edX codes). The Indian Institutes of Technology have launched a Massive Open Online Certification (also a MOOC) to support skills development in IT sector, using IT industry managers as mentors. COL and an Indian Institute of Technology recently offered a MOOC on mobiles for development with over 90 percent of the participants from developing countries (http://m4d.colfinder.org). India's University Grants Commission has formed a high level national taskforce to develop a wide range of norms to help universities offer MOOCs. As in Open Educational Resources, where developing countries today are sizeable contributors (India, Pakistan and Nigeria, for example), MOOC may be mainstreamed into the developing world in ways that are different from the North American context.