As a keen follower of all things edtech you will likely have noticed that MOOC platforms like Udacity and now Coursera are moving away from classic higher education subjects and increasingly into tech skills. Startups like Udemy served that vertical early on. If you think about it, it is somewhat a self-fulfilling prophecy that a Silicon Valley startup is serving the ecosystem it exists in.
Self-paced learning platforms, ranging from tech skills and lifelong learning portals to MOOCs in higher education, have been largely relying on pre-recorded content and asynchronous interaction in forums. This approach, while certainly cost effective, has also been identified as its major drawback as it only too often leads to demotivated, disconnected learners and high dropout rates due to the lack of direct human interaction.
MOOC platform Coursera announced that it has closed part of a Series C round. The first closing totalled $49.5 million led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and joined by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), International Finance Corporation (IFC), and Times Internet (TIL).
Coursera announced its entrance into the Brazilian / Portuguese MOOC market through partnerships with the University of São Paulo (USP), the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), the Lemann Foundation and the web portal R7.
Brazil represents Coursera’s fifth largest user base behind the US, India, China and UK.
Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote about the MOOC movement (and hype) finally reaching India and the country’s first effort to bring some of its higher education online.
At the time the three Computer Science MOOCs were still at planning stage, so let’s take a look at what has happened within the last year and the challenges India is facing.