MOOCs for Development: Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities

Nathan M. Castillo, Jinsol Lee, Fatima T. Zahra, Daniel A. Wagner


The recent rise of massive open online courses (MOOCs) has generated significant media attention for their potential to disrupt the traditional modes of education through ease of access and free or low-cost content delivery. MOOCs offer the potential to enable access to high-quality education to students, even in the most underserved regions of the world. However, much of the excitement surrounding opportunities for MOOCs in non-OECD contexts remains unproven. Challenges with regard to infrastructure, sustainability, and evaluation have disrupted early attempts to expand inclusion for those least educated. Drawing on proceedings from a recent international conference on MOOCs for Development held at the University of Pennsylvania, this report synthesizes trends, challenges, and opportunities within the growing subfield.

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