This Mongolian teenager aced a MOOC. Now he wants to widen their impact.

Posted on May 19th, 2016

In this podcast, Battushig Myanganbayar, who became known four years ago for acing a massive open online course at the age of 15, revisits his views of MOOCs. The course that Myanganbayar took, about circuits and electronics, was one of the first MOOCs offered by MIT. At the time, he became a poster child for the role of MOOCs in increasing educational access in the developing world. Myanganbayar, now a junior majoring in computer science and electrical engineering at MIT, is still a fan of MOOCs but questions the value of MOOCs in the developing world and raises questions about how online learning could be more effective. He states that the “knowledge alone is useless without the opportunity to build or show or to use it.” He notes that in the developing world, MOOCs are like reading books—while the information may be useful and interesting, without having community resources, the knowledge gained cannot be applied. Myanganbayar suggests that one way MOOCs could be more effective is for colleges or other institutions to build maker spaces in developing countries where students could put their knowledge into practice.