Challenges in implementing Free Online Education in Developing Nations like India

MOOCs (Massively Open Online Course) have certainly created a buzz about how it has the potential to change the face of higher

education as we know it. While a lot is being done to assess the impact and efficacy, I just thought what would it take to crea

te a similar model to work in Developing Countries or specifically in areas where the current MOOCs have not been able to create a mark.

I understand that some of the MOOCs like Coursera, Venturelab are popular in Countries like, India, Pakistan, Srilanka, African Countries etc too but its not reaching to the masses, internet penetration could be one of the problems however its increasing.

The premise on which any online course work is the learner is motivated, and I feel there are enough motivated learners in these areas as well.

(Photo credit: silkolive)

I believe we just need to figure out the hindrances in adoption and find a solution. A few challenges which I have identified are,

  • Localization of content – The west generates enough content, however not enough localized content in India is being generated for now
  • Contextualization – An Indian learner might learn better with a content generated with respect to India context rather than US context
  • Figure out the motivation factors – Acquiring Knowledge has been one of the main motivation factors however certificates, job assistance are some of the key motivation factors in countries like India
  • Assessing interests of local universities to do so – A few universities in India including the IITs have some open content but creating a pedagogy model to engage participants would go a long way
  • How would teachers react to such a initiative by their universities? – Teachers in the west have shown tremendous interest towards such inititiatives, hence more and more experts, teachers and univerties are coming forward to conduct free online courses. This still needs to be assessed for teachers from the sub-continent
  • Create awareness about free and open education – Not many students know about this,
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