MOOCs have hit the sunny shores of the Caribbean. Trinidad and Tobago has partnered with online course provider Coursera to establish a “network” of online courses that will be accessible throughout the country. Coursera has already experimented with establishing learning “hubs,” or physical locations where students can receive tutoring, in several countries including the United States. But this project is slated to be the company’s first “national knowledge network,” reports the BBC:
[…] Coursera is working with the government and the University of Trinidad and Tobago to provide online courses, learning materials and television programmes.There will be learning centres on the university campuses where students will be able to get help from mentors.There will also be accreditation and college credits from the online courses. […][Minister of Tertiary Education Fazal] Karim said it was a “very important step” for Trinidad, which is already on target to have 60% of young people participating in further and higher education by next year.
MOOCs have gotten a lot of attention in the United States, but they’re also popular overseas. We wouldn’t be surprised to see other “national networks” of MOOCs pop up in the coming years. It’s possible that developing nations will help drive the evolution of the technology, because their citizens have fewer options for higher education than do citizens of wealthier nations and will find the free and easily accessible MOOCs to be particularly attractive. That’s what we’re seeing in Trinidad and Tobago, and it’s an encouraging sign indeed.