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Will Moocs rise again in Asia?

By ITS Education Asia

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China has declared itself the world’s leader in massive open online courses (Moocs), in terms of the number of both courses and participants. The announcement directed attention to a type of learning that was deemed “dead” in 2017 by a vice-president of Udacity, a US educational technology giant.

As of October, China had more than 30 Mooc platforms hosting 34,000 courses, education minister Chen Baosheng said at a conference held at Tsinghua University in December. Of all Chinese Mooc users, about a quarter were university students who received credit for their work.

“We have gradually established a unique development model” of online teaching, Mr Chen said. “In the post-pandemic era, Chinese education has entered a new stage of high-quality development, integrating the advantages of Moocs and online education.”

China is taking the lead in this revival. Tsinghua, working with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), issued a 17-point “Beijing declaration on Mooc development” and formed a 20-member Global Mooc Alliance with overseas institutions such as Cornell University, the University of Toronto and the University of Auckland.

The revival of the Mooc in Asia seems to be spurred by the need to support institutions without the ability to develop their own online classes.



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