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Second Regional Expert Meeting: MOOCs as a Catalyst to Enhance Teaching and Lifelong Learning in Asia and the Pacific

10-11 October 2016, National Institute for Lifelong Education Seoul, Republic of Korea


Experts from 15 countries throughout Asia and the Pacific met to review the potential and national-level initiatives for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to enhance teaching and lifelong learning in the region (10-11 October 2016, Seoul, Republic of Korea). Building on the first expert meeting in Chengdu, China the second regional expert meeting was convened in close cooperation with the National Institute of Lifelong Education (NILE), which generously sponsored and hosted the gathering. The meeting objectives included:

1. Take stock of regional needs, with a special focus on developing economies, to use MOOCs to achieve their goals for quality education;

2.  Conduct a MOOC simulation on analysing learning analytics to promote quality higher education, both online and on campus;

3.  Collect case studies to distil practical advice for policymakers and practitioners that is culturally specific and relevant to the Asia-Pacific region;

4.  Prepare a synthesis report to share with key stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific region.

As a result, the participants identified common problems and opportunities to advance access to quality higher education through MOOCs and, more broadly, through Open and Distance Learning. Stocktaking exercises and focus group discussions during the meeting outlined the diversity and scope of MOOCs as a means to enhance the quality of education and promote the achievement of the Education 2030 agenda (meeting documents below). As a result, the group agreed on four key action items:

• Strengthen regional level collaboration on the development and implementation of MOOCs in Asia and the Pacific;

• Launch a baseline survey to map how and why MOOCs are implemented in the Asia-Pacific region;

• Develop a research framework to guide and publish national case studies;

• Pending funding availability (or a seconded staff) UNESCO Bangkok also agreed to serve as Secretariat for a new network on MOOCs in Asia-Pacific (to be explored and launched later as the group progresses).

In addition, participants expressed their support for a sample learning analytics tool developed by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) called VisMOOC, a visualization tool for MOOCs, which may be available as open source technology in 2017 (Figure 1 and

UNESCO Bangkok looks forward to continued developments and to strengthening ties in this area. Contacts and feedback on the role of MOOCs in Asia and the Pacific may be sent to

Event overview and presentations from the Second Regional Expert Meeting.


Figure 1: MOOC Forum Social Network Analysis – Student’s grade and student’s activeness in learning

Source: HKUST, accessed 17 October 2016. Sample from VisMOOC – Forum Social Network – Student’s grade and student’s activeness in learning in “Introduction to Computing with Java” by Mr. T.C. Pong, Senior Advisor to the Executive Vice-President & Provost Director of Center for Engineering Education Innovation Professor of Computer Science & Engineering Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST)