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December 10, 2013

Australia | Online | Third Level

ELT MOOC launched in Australia

The long-awaited first MOOC to offer a free online English language learning course was recently launched in Australia.

The first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for English language learners was launched in Brisbane, Australia on December 4. Fifteen colleges and universities in Queensland collaborated to develop the more than 50 lessons currently offered by MOOEC (the E is for English). Like all MOOCs, the course can be accessed free and the initial aim is for a high take-up within Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

Lessons are organised into established levels of proficiency and approved by a committee of professional English language practitioners providing quality assurance oversight of the content.

The MOOEC is an initiative of International Education Services, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the improvement of international education. They say an additional 100 lessons are planned for release over the next six months. Other Australian higher learning institutions have expressed a strong interest in getting on board.

IES Managing Director, Chris Evason said, “The movement towards free, online education is a key development in Higher Education and the MOOEC intends to play an important complementary role in bringing language learning to a wider audience. We are seeking to use our extensive network of 20,000 industry professionals worldwide, to help us reach learners in every country in the world.”

While a stated aim of MOOEC is "to reach individuals who currently have limited means to access high-quality, on-line English Language tuition" it will not replace face-to-face instruction. Indeed it is viewed as a means to encourage students to eventually enrol at one of the partner institutions and to do so with a "substantial learning profile."

The MOOEC website
The International Education Services website

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