U.S. Teams Up With Online Course Operator To Plan Global Network

Career College Central summary:

  • Coursera, a California-based venture that has enrolled five million students in its free online courses, announced last week a partnership with the United States government to create “learning hubs” around the world where students can go to get Internet access to free courses supplemented by weekly in-person class discussions with local teachers or facilitators.
  • The learning hubs represent a new stage in the evolution of “massive open online courses,” or MOOCs, and address two issues: the lack of reliable Internet access in some countries, and the growing conviction that students do better if they can discuss course materials, and meet at least occasionally with a teacher or facilitator.
  • Early this year, using courses from Coursera and other online providers, the State Department ran a pilot program to open space where people could take free online courses in priority fields, including science and technology subjects, Americana and entrepreneurship.
  • Coursera is joining forces with the State Department’s MOOC Camp Initiative, now operating in 40 countries — about half using Coursera courses, and the other half courses from such providers as edX and Open Yale, whose courses are also available free on the Internet. But beyond having its courses used, Coursera is taking an active role in the project.

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