UNIR iTED publishes a compendium about MOOCs in developing countries
The compilation, that is now available for downloading in three formats, is an edited version of “Making Sense of MOOCs, A Guide for Policy-Makers in Developing Countries”, produced by UNESCO and the Commonwealth of Learning. This edition has been made by Research Institute for Innovation & Technology in Education of Universidad Internacional de La Rioja (UNIR iTED), that has also traslated the compilation into Spanish. This compendium shows progress, doubts, recommendations and a clear and lucid view about the current state of Open Education and MOOCs –Massive Open Online Courses–.
Open Education has become in the last years in a powerful tool, a transformation trigger that expands education, market and targets easily. In words of Daniel Burgos, director of UNIR iTED and editor of this compendium in four languages, this is –among other causes– because Open Education can integrate, and can be integrated with, a more traditional approach: regular programmes can access to a wider variety of resources and data, making that former programme stronger, deeper and more accesible.
“MOOCs are not the perfect resource, but they are a precious resource for the cause”
In this context, MOOCs have emerged as a very popular product in Open Education. Thanks to these courses, the real world outside the usual academic get to know another way to learn. What originally were designed as taster courses are now also being offered within full study programmes or as a substitute entrance exam for higher education, and they have generated a big debate among educators, higher education institutions, policy makers and private companies.
MOOCs are a good opportunity to increase the access to higher education to a lot of people (including those who are in developing countries), but the road to Open Education implementation is a long one and the context is different in every country. Also, they face some problems like the drop-out of the students or the lack of diversity in the offer, so further research is need in order to understand the Open Education scenario and to take advantage of all the posibilities that MOOCs offer.
Thanks to these courses, the real world outside the usual academic get to know another way to learn
As Burgos says, MOOCs are not the perfect resource, but they are a precious resource for the cause: “MOOCs can make the extra mile to reach everyone for a decisive progress in Education. The aim of this compilation about MOOCs is to allow to reach a broader public and to make the report easy to find and to use in the daily life, which is what actually matters”.
27th July.- Eva Ferreras