Alibaba and top Chinese university launch new education portal for MOOCs

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Auteur : Paul Bischoff
Date de l'info : 2 mars 2015


One of China’s most highly regarded universities has partnered with the country’s biggest ecommerce company to create a new website for massive open online courses, or MOOCs. The generically named Chinese MOOCs was just launched by Peking University and Alibaba as schools around the country begin their new semesters following the Chinese New Year holiday (h/t to TechNode).

Chinese MOOCs lists 26 courses, covering subjects in science, law, literature, music, and IT. The website lists six other universities that are apparently on board, including the University of Hong Kong, National Taiwan University, and Beijing Normal, but all the courses currently offered are from Peking University (note: Peking University is also known as Beijing University, or Beida, for short).

Using a model similar to Coursera, Chinese MOOCs combines video lectures, quizzes, and other coursework to educate students, who can take courses for free and opt to pay for certificates upon completion. There’s no limit to the number of students per course.

Prior to Chinese MOOCs, Alibaba listed third-party online courses on a branch of its popular online marketplace, Taobao. Dubbed Taobao Tongxue (“tongxue” means “classmate” in English), anyone could set up an online education service and sell it there. Some classes even take place on the Taobao site.

Chinese MOOCs is a more direct and curated model, but it’s not the first of its kind in China. Much of Coursera’s curriculum has been translated and is available in Chinese via local partners, Netease and Guokr. Guokr, an online community of scientists, recently received a US$20 million series C investment in December. Last year, Coursera founder and Baidu chief scientist Andrew Ng said China was the platform’s fastest growing market after the United States, many of whom access content on mobile devices.


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