Vietnamese academic opens MOOCs school

A Vietnamese chemist has followed a worldwide trend for massive open online courses (MOOCs) by opening an online school to offer free education to Vietnamese last weekend.

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Dr. Giap Van Duong activated Saturday the website http://www.giapschool.org/tintuc_giapschool where courses in science, communications, and other fields are offered free of charge in Vietnamese, the kind of education Coursera and the Khan Academy are providing to the world.

Dr. Duong said on the website that he wants to bring the latest materials used in developed countries to the public in Vietnam via his online school.

GiapSchool is able to run a course attended by thousands of people at the same time and offer lectures, exercises, tests, assessments, and online discussions.

Dr. Duong, 37, is a research chemist at the University of Liverpool and the National University of Singapore.

MOOCs are a recent development in distance education with Coursera, an educational technology company founded last year by Stanford University computer science professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, and the Khan Academy, created in 2006 by MIT and Harvard graduate Salman Khan, among the pioneers.

This educational advancement allows learners to study almost everything and discuss with other course takers about what they are learning with the help of broadband Internet.

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