Latin America’s first MOOC

São Paulo University (USP) has teamed up with a start-up company named Veduca to launch two MOOCs, one in physics and the other in statistics.

This article notes that Brazilian students are some of the most “engaged” participants in US based MOOCs, but are hindered by the fact that the classes are taught in English (by the way, I don’t know what the author means by engaged or how this is measured).  These new classes will be taught in Portuguese by USP professors and will give students the opportunity to participate in live chats, watch videos, and take quizzes throughout to gauge their understanding.

One potential drawback I see is that students can only receive a certificate from Veduca confirming they passed the course if they travel to São Paulo to take the final exam.  I’m sure that will cut down on cheating and enhance the credibility of the certificate (they hope that private universities will accept it for credit in the future), but it seemingly will cut down on the number of international students who will want to enroll. Perhaps that already will be low though given the language of instruction.

 

One thought on “Latin America’s first MOOC

  1. I teach a MOOC through Coursera (Introduction to Sustainability), and can tell you that over 5% of the students were from Brazil, which was a surprise. We had so many that we were able to make the (peer-reviewed) final project option available in Portuguese (along with English and Spanish).

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