- 61.5% of Coursera's first million users are from outside of the United States.
- While students from third-world countries undoubtedly benefit from Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), universities in the same countries are facing pressure to drastically improve higher education while working within their meager means.
- Carlos Martinez, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of El Salvador, has become a MOOC advocate in an effort to improve the standard of education in his country; although he has signed up 10% of the electrical engineering students, professors at the University of El Salvador are generally "very chilly" to the idea.
From the article:
"... Last spring, Martinez enrolled in a class on electronic circuits offered by edX, the $60 million collaboration between MIT and Harvard to stream 'massive open online courses,' or MOOCs, over the Web. He thought it was so good that he began traveling around El Salvador to convince others to join the class and launched a blog in English to document his adventures as his country’s first 'MOOC advocate.'
It’s an adventure because Martinez doesn’t have the backing of his university. This fall, on his own initiative, he signed up 50 students—about one-tenth of the electrical engineering majors at his school—to take the edX circuits class. Since he’s not assigned to teach this subject, he communicates with the students on Facebook, and once a week he sets up an experiment in a hallway to accompany the class. ..."