STEM

MOOCs, or massive open online courses, are a very hot topic as of late.  It was no surprise an article on this subject came up in one of my Google alerts, and I wanted to share it with all of you today. International higher education and MOOCs are on my mind especially, as I’m currently taking a class on Coursera and developing several projects in partnership with universities abroad.

The article, Can OpenCourseWare widen Europe’s science and technology skills-base?, was written by Anka Mulder and comes from The Guardian’s Higher Education Professional Network blog (an amazing resource if you’re interested in international higher education).  Here are a few takeaways:

  • To reinvigorate an interest among women, minorities and non-traditional student groups in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects,  over 50 universities in the EU have partnered to create the OpenCourseWare for STEM (OCW4STEM) project.
  • The project is designed to increase access to higher education through flexible, distance learning because “online learning anonymises the classroom, allowing every learner to feel confident and secure among their peers.”   An important research finding from the US.

It will be very interesting to see how this project progresses and if it leads to an actual increase in STEM professionals.  Some questions this brings up for me are:  How does this project compare to Coursera? Will credit be given and how will that be handled across different institutions?

To read the full article, go to Can OpenCourseWare widen Europe’s science and technology skills-base?

What are you thoughts on the project and MOOCs? Would love to hear them!

by Shannon

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