The Technological University of Uruguay Boosts open education with MOOC Courses

With a singular Digital Learning Experience created by the Technological University of Uruguay (UTEC) in South America, this institution is ready to show its results being one of the first universities in the region to use open education via the Open edX Platform and MOOC Courses. With an important weight of techno-pedagogy in the design of all its courses UTEC is open to collaborating and to keep growing this community.

How does UTEC work with open education?

UTEC is one of the two public universities in Uruguay and was created to expand education to the whole country with a multicampus model and 11 locations, since universities were mainly concentrated only in Uruguay’s central city, Montevideo.

UTEC was created 10 years ago to allow people living in all regions to study unique careers with a technological outlook and now offers 17 undergraduate & graduate degrees in areas such as IT, agri-food, logistics, mechatronics and others. The University has more than 4000 students and 84 % are first-generation university students in their families that come from the 19 provinces Uruguay is divided in.

Nevertheless, how could UTEC reach everywhere? Having locations in all regions was part of the strategy and the other was providing all its careers in a hybrid learning model based on open education.

We created our own digital learning model with an important weight of techno-pedagogy in the design of all its courses, including MOOC. The Open edX Platform was created in mid-2012 and UTEC started using it in 2014. Our Open Education strategy and part of our link with the community are now based on this open-source platform. We are using MOOC for all language courses, and all virtual courses within the majority of our hybrid education programs.

Our teachers, students, and staff work together with the Digital Transformation Center to boost the integration of digital technologies into all organization processes, functions, and levels. We were, and are able, to reach the whole country with a model based on strong techno-pedagogy strategies combined with open education. Also, we are accompanying other public institutions that have started using the Open edX Platform with UTEC’s guidance, like Ceibal and Inefop in Uruguay.

15 countries and Uruguay’s community involved

Some of the most popular MOOC courses were administration and food preserves (2000 students) which engaged people from UTEC, the Uruguayan community, and people from different ages and countries. The University has received students from 22 countries. We develop MOOC courses with an in-house team and also others with companies and the government, depending on the needs and topics that engage new students to use the open- source platform constantly. Between 2019 and march 2023 UTEC generated 558 MOOCs with 5299 students. Between 2019 and 2022 in total 1112 people received certificates for these courses.

All courses were designed together with teachers and UTEC’s Center for Digital Transformation to design the educational experience. Working to define the best technologies and strong techno-pedagogy strategies with a team of teachers supporting the students constantly allowing better results and avoiding dropout. This led to achieving the best results in virtual education, after many years of trial and error . Working hand in hand with teachers and techno-pedagogy specialists is UTEC’s must. Also, we were one of the first universities in the South American region to have a policy about Open Education to consolidate our work and the quality of our productions.

Hear more about our story Juan Marrero, UTEC’s Director of the Center for Digital Transformation, will speak about the evolution of MOOC in Uruguay and the future ahead, next Wednesday, March 29th at 11:45 AM (EDT) at the Open edX Conference 2023, hosted by MIT in Boston. Hope to see you there!