MOOCs Open Top Universities to the World

Sean Sinico | DW | January 3, 2013

An emerging form of online education, called massive open online courses, provides access to renowned universities to people around the world. But can it improve the education of students in developing countries?

Unsatisfied with the curriculum at the University of El Salvador where he is a professor of electrical engineering, Carlos Martinez enrolled in a massive open online course - or MOOC, which when pronounced rhymes with "spook" - titled Circuits and Electronics offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology via the Internet to anyone interested.

Impressed with what he learned during the course, he traveled around El Salvador promoting MOOCs, working to convince his fellow professors to rethink how they teach and improve their students’ education in the process.

"Professors in developing countries do not have the same academic pressure their peers in developed countries have," he told DW. "It is easy to have professors with a very limited scope on their fields. With MOOCs, professors are feeling challenged and improving their knowledge."