From the Editors
[The following article was originally published on Tadween Publishing's blog. For more information on the publishing world as it relates to pedagogy and knowledge production, follow Tadween Publishing on Facebook and Twitter.]
The growing phenomenon of MOOCs (massive open online courses) is no longer contained to the English language. After announcing partnerships that will create MOOCs in Chinese and in French, EdX recently announced that it will be partnering with the Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development to offer Arabic-language MOOCs.
On 7 November, Queen Rania Foundation CEO Haifa Sia Al-Attia signed an agreement with EdX announcing the foundation’s creation of an Arabic-language MOOC portal. The Arabic-language portal, called Edraak, will follow a model similar to EdX’s open education platform by offering free online courses in Arabic.
Initially Edraak will offer Arabic translations of selected courses from EdX’s consortium of universities that offer MOOCs until the portal develops its own Arabic-language courses. As of now, there has been no mention of when Edraak is expected to launch.
“Engaging, fresh, relevant—and, most importantly, in Arabic—MOOCs on Edraak will open up a world of possibility for intellectually hungry Arab youth,” stated Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, who was also present for the signing of the agreement.
EdX is a non-profit virtual education initiative founded in 2012 by Harvard and MIT that represents one of the original platforms for MOOCs. While attracting both approval and criticism, MOOCs are swiftly becoming popular as education institutions across the world adopt its model for online education (read Tadween’s article on MOOCs here). Reports began circulating last month claiming that EdX was in negotiations with several educational institutions in the Middle East to offer Arabic-language online courses.
“There are a lot of students taking courses on our platform already in this region, so there’s a lot of interest in translating our platform and being able to offer courses in Arabic,” said Anant Agarwal, chief executive of edX, in an interview with The National.
Edraak is not the first attempt at providing Arabic-language MOOCs to the Arab world. In May 2013, Taghreedat and Coursea announced a partnership that would translate MOOCs from Coursea’s consortium of international universities into Arabic. A similar joint venture was announced in June 2013, when ALISON and Silatech created a similar partnership to provide Arabic-language MOOCs focused on developing youth employability in the Arab world.
In October EdX announced two partnerships that will use its online education platform to offer MOOCs in French and Chinese. A consortium of Chinese universities will use EdX’s open source platform for its online learning portal XuetangX. In a similar partnership, the French Ministry of Higher Education will also adopt EdX’s open source learning platform to develop MOOCs in French through an initiative titledFrance Université Numérique.
Such partnerships address one of the criticisms of MOOCs, which argues that despite promoting free online education there remains a language barrier and an income barrier for some to be able to take part in this new venture in online learning. Challenging the criticism that MOOCs only exist for those who can afford the internet, Coursea recently announced that it will partner with the U.S. government to create “learning hubs” to be located in over thirty sites around the world to offer students internet access for free online courses. The partnership hopes to address the criticism that MOOCs are only available to those who have access to the Internet, thus preventing low-income households and individuals without the Internet from taking part in MOOCs. In addition to offering Internet access, the “learning hubs” will also offer group discussions to create an environment similar to a classroom.
To follow the impact of MOOCs on higher education around the world, continue to follow Tadween’s blog and Tadween on twitter and facebook.
If you prefer, email your comments to email@example.com.
Hot on Facebook
"The BDS Movement has given rise to a vast network of student groups across the US that are now coming together under the umbrella organization, Students for Justice in Palestine-National, to discuss past and future solidarity efforts."click | email | tweet
Jad NavigationView Full Map, Topics, and Countries »
Jadalicious / جدلشس
Committee to Protect Journalists: Second Worst Year on Record for Jailed Journalists http://t.co/h2odwGNgKt
11 hours ago
أحمد أبو زيد: لماذا لم يثر الصعيد؟ محاولة أولية للفهم ودعوة للنقاش http://t.co/uN79rX8Hki
12 hours ago
علي الرجال: عن السيد الجديد والمرأة المصرية http://t.co/ZtQI8q0oSF
12 hours ago
Challenging the Red Lines: Stories of Rights Activists in Saudi Arabia http://t.co/fIYVG7vDVW
yesterday at 11:52 AM
Photography Media Roundup (March 6) http://t.co/Azh0gTa6pX
yesterday at 9:31 AM
Latest EntriesView All Entries »
- لماذا لم يثر الصعيد؟ محاولة أولية للفهم ودعوة للنقاش
- عن السيد الجديد والمرأة المصرية
- Photography Media Roundup (March 6)
- قصائد المهمّشين
- New Texts Out Now: Annika Marlen Hinze, Turkish Berlin: Integration Policy and Urban Space
- Egypt Monthly Edition on Jadaliyya (February 2014)
- The (Ir)relevance of Academia? Academics Lash Back at Kristof for NYT Column
- Les quartiers populaires et les printemps arabes: Elements pour une approche renouvelee
- Buradan bir cikis var mi? Ya da neden HDP’deyim?
- Media on the Margins: An Interview with Muhammad Ali on his Frontline Documentary "Syria's Second Front"
- Syria Media Roundup (March 4)
- Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (March 4)
- Turkey Media Roundup (March 4)
- Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon: Health, Access, and Contributions
- Harvard Event: The History of Syrian Revolt: Structural Causes and Dynamics (4 March)
- الأنبار بين مفهومين: الحرب والسلام
- Egypt Media Roundup (March 3)
- Creation and Cooptation: The Story of Morocco’s Migration Reform
- Roundtable Discussion: The Gezi Protests and Dissident Visions of Turkey (Harvard University, 3 March)
- Month-by-Month Summary of Developments in Syria (Updated)