The size of some MOOCs make collaboration difficult.

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are expanding educators’ reach to students all around the world.

A recent study of one MOOC found that students from 194 countries participated in the course and 16 percent of the students spoke Spanish. Yet, the vast majority of MOOCs are only offered in English.

A new course offered by the MOOC platform NovoEd is aiming to help change that.

“Evaluación de Decisiones Estratégicas,” which will be taught by Catholic University of Chile professor and strategic decision expert Patricio del Sol, will be the first MOOC to be taught entirely in Spanish that is also team-based.

The distinction of being centered on interaction is what has already set NovoEd apart from some of its competitors. Launched earlier this year at Stanford University, which is also the home of MOOC giants Udacity and Coursera, NovoEd began offering seven public and 10 private courses based on peer interaction.

The size of most MOOCs makes collaboration among students a challenge. A course taught at the Georgia Institute of Technology in February had to be suspended after an attempt to organize its 40,000 students into groups using Google Docs devolved into confusion and technical difficulties.

See Page 2 for more on what the course is all about.

NovoEd places students in groups from the start of the course, and then attempts to foster interaction through discussion boards, messaging services and peer evaluation.

“NovoEd is the only one to use the power of the social web,” says NovoEd founder and Stanford professor Amin Saberi.  “It’s designed with teamwork in mind.”

Encouraged by the results of its first batch of courses, NovoEd will launch the new Spanish-language MOOC on July 8.

The free course will be offered by the Latin-American University, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and will teach students “how to build a cash flow and calculate a net present value (NPV) that embodies quantitatively the strategic considerations that motivate decisions,” according to NovoEd’s announcement. Videos for the course will be filmed in Silicon Valley.

De Sol, the course’s professor, earned both his MA degree in Economics and his PhD in Engineering-Economic systems at Standford University.  He is a best-selling author in Chile, and the course shares a name with one of his books.

Students who pass the MOOC will receive a certificate from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile acknowledging their successful participation.

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