Wandida: Ceci n’est pas un MOOC

Our friends from OKFN Morocco published a very interesting interview with El Mahdi, on of the people behind Wandida. Wandida is an online platform which collects and provides a wide range of open educational resources (CC-by-NC-SA 4.0). The platform is entirely built and maintained by two Moroccans working at the Swiss École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). As we are awaiting a translation of the interview into Arabic, we thought to wrap it in English for a wider audience to discover and enjoy the project.

Wandida was born sometime back in 2010 as a sketch idea and fed through diverse experiences such as the web media Mamfakinch, inspired by Khan Academy and MIT’s OpenCourseWare. Today, the platform operates in four languages, namely standard Arabic, darija (Moroccan Arabic), French and English. Interestingly, the content is created to fit each language requirements: it is thus not a translation from already existing material (e.g. from standard Arabic to French or suchlikes). Wandida’s creators emphasize how crucial for the learners is the creation of original content that fits the language it is ‘dressed up’ into.

And what about the goals of this project? First, it is important to provide a truly open educational content online. Unlike MOOCs where ‘Open’ generally means ‘gratuitious’, Wandida aims to be a place where anyone can openly access knowledge and does not require log-in for learners. While MOOCs are generally preferred by people having completed their education, Wandida focuses on students. Thus, it aims at providing a more narrowly themed educational resources which can actually help students clarify and/or improve their knowledge of a given topic. Through this platform, Wandida’s creators wish also to refurbish the image of professors and to give back them back the importance they have in the learning process. Even more importantly, highlights El Mahdi, Wandida is an experimentation: we are in the Stone Age of online learning, so we should not stick to our current certitudes and continue to experiment, succeed, make mistakes and learn from both successes and failures.

Posted on: April 18, 2014, by :