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India Loves Moocs

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Massively open online courses have taken off in a big way in India.


When massively open online courses (MOOCs) first became available several years ago, proponents expected them to revolutionize education and shake up the established higher-education system. Although this has not yet happened in the U.S and Europe, MOOCs have taken off in a big way in India, where they are meeting a need for education, particularly technical education, with which the rapidly developing country's network of technical schools and institutes cannot keep up.

Indian students now account for the second-largest group using MOOCs from leading providers Coursera and edX. Indian high school students and graduates use MOOCs to study for the country's extremely competitive university entrance exams. Students who do not make the cut use MOOCs to get the skills they cannot acquire elsewhere. MOOCs are even popular among students at India's most prestigious schools, and with many young professionals.

Many in India believe MOOCs are the key to solving India's shortage of qualified instructors and the country's Ministry of Resources Development is working to build an Indian MOOC platform called Swayam. However, such efforts have been slow to take hold as many of India's schools have yet to be convinced to grant credit for MOOCs and give their instructors the flexibility they need to develop their own online courses.

From Technology Review
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