Coursera hosts Asia’s first MOOC

April 22, 2013, 10:20 p.m.

Coursera—the online learning platform developed by Stanford computer science professors Daphne Koller Ph.D. ’94 and Andrew Ng—recently hosted the first massive open online course (MOOC) developed by an Asian university.

Over 17,000 students registered for Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)’s “Science, Technology and Society in China” course, according to a report from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“I was astonished and overwhelmed,” said Naubahar Sharif, an HKUST associate professor who developed the course, to The Chronicle. “This is far more than the 8,000-10,000 students we were expecting.”

Coursera will host other MOOCs from HKUST in upcoming months, including one on Chinese history and one titled “Science of Gastronomy.”

The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Japan’s Tokyo University plan to follow HKUST into the MOOC market this fall, potentially releasing courses on the Chinese currency’s international role and the evolution of the universe, respectively.

Accordingly, Coursera expects to launch a Chinese-language platform in August with courses from the National Taiwan University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, in an effort to work around the language barrier and facilitate online interactivity.

Ileana Najarro is the Managing Editor of News at The Stanford Daily. She previously worked as a News Desk Editor and Staff Writer.

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