And the MOOC takeover of higher education continues! But seriously, MOOCs have an important place in the today’s education landscape, and Penn State has capitalized, now offering its very popular “Creativity, Innovation, and Change” MOOC in Chinese.
Penn State first offered the MOOC (short for Massive Open Online Course) last year, and more than 130,000 from 195 countries were enrolled. Only problem: It was offered in English only. Starting July 14, this will become the first Penn State course to be offered completely in two languages.
The MOOC was translated from its original version by graduate students Huihui Zhang and Tian Fu. The MOOC has six lessons, all of which contain both videos, lessons and readings. Jack Matson, one of the co-instructors and emeritus professor of environmental engineering, thinks that the Chinese offering will give this MOOC the largest enrollment from China than any other country except the U.S., which is saying something considering it’s the 10th-most enrolled course in the world.
“Each lesson, video and communication with students has been translated so that Chinese speakers can take this course and will not have to rely on English,” Matson said in the release. “This addition will bring another international perspective to a course in which students interact in discussion forums and on assignments.”
If you aren’t familiar with MOOCs yet, they’re highly dedicated online courses with the capacity to serve gigantic audiences. If their growth continues, they could put traditional higher education systems in a precarious position because of their relative ease of use and packaging. Oh, and most importantly: MOOCs are free, when taken through programs like Coursera. Penn State currently offers eight MOOCs through Coursera — one of which can be taken for credit (that option does cost money). MOOCs have a lot more security than other Internet spawn like Bitcoin, so get used to hearing the name.