Online learning is not the answer to Saudi’s persistent educational and employment gaps

Hannah Geis:

Saudi leaders may not want women to drive, but they do want them to use massive open online courses (MOOCs). But Saudi Arabia’s embrace of MOOCs as a bandage for failures in its own educational system may be premature.

On July 15, edX, a nonprofit MOOC provider based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labor launched a pilot open-platform MOOC portal designed “exclusively for Arab audiences” to minimize the gap between educational and employment levels in the kingdom and across the Arab world. The new e-learning curriculum, aimed at rural communities, women, youth and persons with disabilities will include licensed courses from edX university partners, translated into Arabic, as well as original courses offered by Saudi institutions.