» UNESCO launch for Massive Open Online Courses guide for developing countries
24.06.2016 - Education Sector

UNESCO launch for Massive Open Online Courses guide for developing countries

© UNESCO

A guide for policy-makers in developing countries on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) was launched at a special event at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris on June 16, 2016.

Online learning has expanded massively since 2012, known as the “year of the MOOC,” attracting millions of students However, the rapid rise of MOOCS has mainly taken place in the global North.

The guide, Making sense of MOOCs, A Guide for Policy-Makers in Developing Countries is designed to raise awareness among policy-makers in developing countries as to how MOOCs might enable access to affordable quality higher education and help in the preparation of secondary school leavers for academic and vocational education and training.

Co-published by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), the guide also looks at the role of online learning and MOOCS in the Education 2030 Agenda and the achieving of Sustainable Development Goal 4.

Huge potential in developing countries

“MOOCs provide a huge potential for higher education institutions in developing countries, looking for new ways to meet increasing demands,” says Mariana Patru, UNESCO programme specialist and co-editor. “Higher education institutions”, she  adds, “ have long been engaged in the delivery of online content via open education resources (OER) but the rapid rise of MOOCs –with 4,200 MOOCs in 2015  has truly revolutionised the traditional higher education landscape”.

Introducing the event were Dr Qian Tang, Assistant Director-General for Education and Professor Asha Kanwar, President and CEO of COL. Also present were editors Ms Mariana Patru and Dr Venkataraman Balaji.

The meeting explored international and country experiences in the area of open online learning and MOOCs.

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