Massive open online courses as a tool for workforce development in Colombia, the Philippines, and South Africa


The potential of online learning has long afforded the hope of providing quality education to anyone, anywhere in the world. The recent development of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) heralded an exciting new breakthrough by providing free academic instruction and professional skills development from the world’s leading universities to anyone with the sufficient resources to access the internet. The research in Advancing MOOCs for Development Initiative study was designed to analyze the MOOC landscape in developing countries and to better understand the motivations of MOOC users and afford insights on the advantages and limitations of MOOCs for workforce development outcomes. The key findings of this study challenge commonly held beliefs about MOOC usage in developing countries, defying typical characterizations of how people in resource constrained settings use technology for learning and employment. In fact, some of the findings are so contrary to what has been reported in the U.S. and other developed environments that they raise new questions for further investigation.

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Publication Type

  • Report

Publication Date

  • 2016

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