MOOC Adaptation and Translation to Improve Equity in Participation

Freda Wolfenden, Simon Cross, Fiona Henry, Journal of Learning for Development, Aug 01, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This study shows why it's important to test hypotheses with different models and different user groups. It describes a MOOC in India offered first in English and then in Hindi, attracting more than 40,000 students in all, and achieving completion rates over 50%. "Our findings challenge previous research (Milligan & Littlejohn, 2014), which found little transfer of learning to on-the job practices for health professionals participating in MOOCs," write the authors. "Through the combination of the MOOC platform, contact classes and social media, the MOOC bridged local and distributed learning, creating a hybrid space focussed on a shared  ‘domain of practice’." So, yeah - not your typical xMOOC. If you take care to do what MOOCs do really well, you can achieve success, and more importantly, extend access to previously disadvantaged groups.

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