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IMF Says Yes to MOOCs


An unlikely player has just entered the MOOC fray. On Wednesday, The IMF announced that it will join the online university network EdX, offering courses in financial policy and debt sustainability analysis. At the start, these courses will be open to government officials only, but by 2014 they will become accessible to the public at large. At the end of the courses, students will receive a certificate. The BBC explains the genesis of the idea:

“Sharmini Coorey, director of the IMF’s Institute for Capacity Development, says the financial crisis has awakened interest in how public finances are run.

The IMF already runs training programmes for staff such as central bankers and finance ministry officials, and Ms Coorey says that the online university is a way of making this information accessible to anyone with an internet connection.”

While the idea of offering finance courses through MOOCs is nothing new, this marks the first time that a major non-academic institution has teamed up with a provider to disseminate information.

The MOOC paradigm is spreading like wildfire. Earlier this week, Sao Paulo University in Brazil became the first Latin American institution to launch a MOOC, debuting courses in mechanical engineering and physics, with more options to follow. We’ve seen the first Asian MOOC, the first all-MOOC degree program, and the rise of remedial ed delivered through MOOCs. We’re still only scratching the surface of what this technology can be used for.

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