Globally, the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) paved its way in 2012 when it penetrated the web in making educational content and lectures available to anyone at any time and any place. MOOCs have consequently provided ways for lifelong learning and MOOCs is an innovation that is here to stay, but education leaders need to determine how it can contribute to SEAMEO 7 Education Agenda towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal no 4 in terms of technology, pedagogy, content and knowledge.

SEAMEO has introduced digital classes and presently developing Open Educational Resources (OER) for the use of free and open courseware, pursuant to the 2012 World OER Congress, the Paris OER Declaration.  SEAMEO Centres such as SEAMOLEC, INNOTECH and RIHED have been leading the discussions and utilization of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) before the emergence of MOOCs as its latest modality, SEAMEO plans to consolidate all the outstanding MOOCS providers in the region and document best practices.

The two-day meeting on SEA MOOCs had been conducted on 13 to 14 December 2016 in Jakarta, Indonesia. It organized by SEAMEO Secretariat in collaboration with MOEC Indonesia with SEAMEO SEAMOLEC, and SEAMEO INNOTECH   to support the SEAMEO Seven Agenda and the Ministers Call for Action as stated in Bandung Statement and the Action Agenda. It convened 30 experts and policy makers from three countries in Southeast Asia:  Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines to explore opportunities to convene SEA MOOCS Network for capacity-building in the between countries, and among group of countries in the region.

SEA MOOCS Experts Meeting Representatives

The meeting determines the status of MOOCS and ODEL (Open and Distance Learning) programmes in the sub-region (Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines); to take stock of the challenges and opportunities of using MOOCs in the Southeast Asia region to meet the SEAMEO & priority areas; to create a regional MOOCS network for promoting continuous/further dialogue; and to formulate strategies on how to better use MOOCs for equitable and accessible quality education for all.

In the meeting Dr Ethel Agnes P Valenzuela presented the trends and challenges of MOOCs in SEA. In her presentation, she described a glance of MOOCs that since it was launched had attracted more than 3,1 million users around the world with enrollment 35 million. Mr Gatot F Hertono from Indonesia University as one of team member of SPADA (Indonesia MOOCs) explained the history of Distance Education (DE) in Indonesia and how national policy driven the DE. According to the data from various institutions, there were 9 model of DE had developed since 1955 up to 2012 and three of them conducted by SEAMEO SEAMOLEC. The representative from Malaysia Ms Noor Hazirah binti Mohamed Yunus, Senior Assistant Director of QA Coordination and Ms. Fareha Nurul Ain biti Izzany, Assistant Director of Policy introduced Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) as a systematic process that involves the identification, documentation and assessment of experiential learning.

Presentations and Q&A Sessions

Prof Roberto B Figueroa, Assistant Professor and Program Chair Diploma in Computer Science, University of the Philippines Open University presented country profile followed by the policies in Philippines related to MOOCs. As he mentioned that University of the Philippines has a mandate to provide Quality Open and Distance Learning to Filipinos Everywhere as well as offers MOOCs. As one of SEAMEO Centre leading in Open and Distance Learning, SEAMOLEC shared their flagship program in MOOCs is SEA Digital Class which is an online training for Indonesian teachers in how use ICT as a Learning Tool in terms of collaborative learning, web conference technology, online assessment. SEAMEO INNOTECH shared their best practices in conducting online training. Dr Ethel Joan Atienza presented the LEARNTECH action research project started on 2003 with the objective to develop a flexible learning system with a multiple delivery system such as printed, CD and web.

SEAMEO Secretariat as the aggregator in SEA MOOCs will be key players in its development. Defining SEA MOOCs architecture and quality assurance is very important in the very early stage of development. Prof Paulina Pannen, the Expert Staff of Academic to the Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education of Indonesia appointed out how MOOCs would be the answer of the challenges in the future for HEIs as the agent for economic development, especially in terms of how vocational stream HE can produce skilled workers, innovative, and competitive.