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[翻译字幕]Education Report - Getting a 本站原创 更新时间: 2012-03-22         

教育报道 - 通过网上开放课程免费获得教育

This is the VOA Special English Education Report.

这里是美国之音慢速英语教育报道。

A class with tens or even hundreds of thousands of students might sound like a teacher's bad dream. But a big idea in higher education these days is the massive open online course, or MOOC.

一个班有数十名,甚至数十万名学生听起来像是教师的恶梦。但近来高等教育的一个宏大理念就是大规模网络开放课程,简称MOOC。

Some universities offer free, non-credit MOOCs available to anyone in the world. Others charge for courses and provide credits. The idea is still developing.

一些高校向世界各地的人们提供免费的、不计学分的网络开放课程。另一些高校对课程收费并提供学分。这个理念仍在探索中。

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently started its first MOOC. The school plans to offer many free, non-credit courses through a project called MITx.

麻省理工学院最近开设了其首项网络开放课程。该校计划通过一个名为MITx的项目提供众多免费的、不计学分的课程。

So far, most massive open online courses are in computer science, technology, mechanics and engineering. For example, students around the world are taking a free course called "Building a Computer Search Engine." Two computer scientists, Sebastian Thrun and David Evans, are offering this course through udacity.com.

到目前为止,大规模网络开放课程包括计算机科学、科技、力学和工程。例如,世界各地的学生正在学习一项名为“建立一个计算机引擎”的免费课程。两名计算机科学家,塞巴斯蒂安·史朗(Sebastian Thrun)和大卫·埃文斯(David Evans)通过udacity.com网站提供了这一课程。

Mr. Evans is on leave from the University of Virginia, where he is an associate professor. Mr. Thrun is a Stanford research professor and a Google Fellow best known for his work on a driverless car.

埃文斯先生来自弗吉尼亚大学,正在休假。史朗先生是斯坦福大学一名研究教授,也是一名因无人驾驶汽车而闻名的谷歌研究员。

There are no education requirements for the course. The students watch short videos. Then, says Mr. Evans, they take informal, ungraded quizzes after the videos each week for six weeks.

这些课程不需要教育背景。埃文斯先生生,学生们观看这些短片,然后每周参加非正式、未分级的测试,一共为期六周。
 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology mathematics professor Gilbert Strang is among the many educators involved in massive open online courses

DAVID EVANS: "Quizzes are part of the lecture to keep students engaged and keep them thinking, for students to be able to check that they understood what we covered. Those are not graded and students try those as often as they want."

埃文斯:“测试是课程的一部分,它让学生保持参与并思考,让学生们能够检查自己所学。测试不计成绩,学生们可以根据自己的意愿随时参加。”

They can repeatedly watch the videos and take the quizzes whenever they want.

他们可以在任意时间反复观看影片并参加测试。

Students receive homework. They join online groups to exchange questions and answers about the course.

学生们会获得作业。他们加入在线群组交流课程有关的问题和答案。

The teachers hold virtual office hours to answer questions that the students have voted to send them. They also present their own questions and observations.

教师们在虚拟办公时间回答学生们通过投票决定发给他们的问题,他们也会提出自己的问题和意见。

The students take a final examination to show where they rate in the class Everyone who finishes the course receives a grade and proof of completion. Top students get letters documenting their work.

学生们参加期末考试展现他们在班级中的等级。完成课程的学生会获得一个评分等级和结业证明。最优秀的学生会收到证明其功课的信件。

Mr. Thrun started Udacity, which supports free MOOCs. Udacity hopes to make a profit in the future by connecting possible employers with interested students. On his Stanford homepage he says he wants to "democratize" education. Education, he says, should be free, accessible for all, everywhere and any time.

史朗先生开办了支持免费网络公开课程的Udacity网站。Udacity希望未来通过连接潜在雇主和有意向的学生而盈利。在他的斯坦福大学的网页上他表示希望使教育大众化(民主化)。他说,教育应当是免费的,任何人、任意时间和地点都能获得。

So how does David Evans compare the education in MOOCs to traditional teaching?

那么,埃文斯如何对比网络公开课程教育和传统教学?

DAVID EVANS: "There are things that we can do better in the online format. We can certainly deliver high-quality education to so much more students at much lower cost ."

埃文斯:“这是我们通过网络方式可以做得更好的事情。我们一定可以以更低成本,将高质量教育提供给更多的学生。”

But he recognizes the limits.

但他承认网络公开课程的局限性。

DAVID EVANS: "Part of what I hope will happen as a result of this is that the best traditional universities will be able to focus on the things they can do really well that can't be done better through an online university."

埃文斯:“我希能够发生的最好的结果之一就是,顶级传统大学能够集中精力做好那些网上大学无法做得更好的工作。”

And that’s the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Jerilyn Watson. I’m Bob Doughty.