The return of MOOC(外刊翻译)

These are still early days. Coursera does not give outfigures on its paying learners; Udacity says it has 13,000 people doing its nanodegrees. Whatever the arithmetic, the reinvented MOOCs matter because they share with every provider of later-life education.


  1. outfigure :figure out 的名词化 大概是效果的意思吧
  2. Udacity :一家在线教育盈利性公司,但也有大量免费课程
  3. nano- :极小,纳,微毫。nanodegree 可以译为微专业

The first of these is the cost of learning, not just in money but also in time. Formal education rests on the idea of qualifications that take a set period to complete. In America the entrenched notion of “seat time”, the amount of time that students spend with school teachers or university professors, dates back to Andrew Carnegie. It was originally intended as an eligibility requirement for teachers to draw a pension from the industrialist’s nascent pension scheme for college faculty. Students in their early 20s can more easily afford a lengthy time commitment because they are less likely to have other responsibilities. Although millions of people do manage part-time or distance learning in later life—one-third of all working students currently enrolled in America are 30-54 years old, according to the Georgetown University Centre on Education and the Workforce—balancing learning, working and family life can cause enormous pressures.

这些问题的第一个便是学习成本———金钱和时间。正规教育基于这样一个理念,那便是资历是需要花费固定的时间才能获得的。在美国,“学堂时间”(即学生和学校老师或大学教师在一起的时间)这一深入人心的概念可以追溯到安德鲁·卡内基(Andrew Carnegie)。最初他是针对教师的一个要求:教师如果要从卡内基为大学教职人员所创设的退休金计划中领到退休金,需要达到一定的“学堂时间”。二十岁出头的学生更容易付出较长的时间,因为他们没有什么其他的责任。虽然成百上千人的确在日后设法边工作边远程学习(乔治城大学教育和劳动力中心的统计显示,美国目前在职学生中有三分之一年龄在30岁到54岁之间),但是平衡学习、工作和家庭会带来巨大的压力。

  1. rest on : 以什么为基础;依靠(depend on ,rely on sb.or sth.)
  2. set : 固定的,安排好的
  3. entrench: 使···更加巩固,使···根深蒂固
  4. be intended as sth :准备,预留 作某种用途或给某人用,eg: The airport is also intended as a gift for the relatively underdeveloped region south of the capital where it is located (67km from Capital airport in the north-east). 该机场还将作为礼物送给首都北京南部相对欠发达地区(它距离东北部的首都国际机场67公里)。
  5. eligibility:适合性,适任性(If you’re qualified for something or allowed to take part in it, you have eligibility)。
  6. eligible :adj.合格的;具备条件的(having the necessary qualities or satisfying the necessary conditions)。be eligible for sth / be eligible to do sth 指“合格的,有资格的”
  7. eligible 还有“合适的,中意的”的意思(An eligible man or woman is not yet married and is thought by many people to be a suitable partner) ,比如《经济学人》一篇关于婚姻市场的文章有这样一句话:Jane Austen ‘s characters took it for granted that men with money made more eligible mates. 简·奥斯丁笔下的人物想当然地认为越是有钱的男人越适合做伴侣。
  8. nascent: adj.新生的,萌芽的,未成熟的
  9. lengthy: length的派生词,冗长的,详尽的

Moreover, the world of work increasingly demands a quick response from the education system to provide people with the desired qualifications. To take one example from Burning Glass, in 2014 just under 50,000 American job-vacancy ads asked for a CISSP cyber-security certificate. Since only 65,000 people in America hold such a certificate and it takes five years of experience to earn one, that requirement will be hard to meet. Less demanding professions also put up huge barriers to entry. If you want to become a licensed cosmetologist in New Hampshire, you will need to have racked up 1,500 hours of training.

除此之外,职场日益要求教育系统作出快速的回应,为人们提供需要的资质(雇主所需的)。举个来自Burning Glass的例子,2014年,美国有将近50000个招聘广告要求应聘者有CISSP网络安全证书,但是仅仅只有6.5万人持有这种证书,而且这种证书资质的获取需要五年,招聘需求难以被满足。即便要求不那么高的专业职位也设置了巨大的准入门槛(借鉴了别人的翻译,意译有时还是比较快乐)。如果你想在新罕布什尔州成为一名持证美容师,需要完成累计1500小时的培训。

  1. vacancyn.空缺(a job or position which has not been filled) —->vacant :adj.空缺的
  2. barrier to entry: 准入门槛 Through one lens, this is a boon for competition. The e-commerce sites of Amazon and Alibaba lower barriers to entry by providing a simpler, cheaper way for small manufacturers to distribute goods and find potential buyers. 从某个角度看,这对竞争是一大福音。亚马逊和阿里巴巴的电子商务网站降低了准入门槛,为小型制造商提供了一种更简单、更廉价的方式来分销商品、寻找潜在买家。
  3. licensed:得到正式许可的(having official permission to do sth)
  4. rack up sth:聚集,积累···

In response, the MOOCs have tried to make their content as digestible and flexible as possible. Degrees are broken into modules; modules into courses; courses into short segments. The MOOCs test for optimal length to ensure people complete the course; six minutes is thought to be the sweet spot for online video and four weeks for a course.


  1. segment:部分,片 eg. :As production has spread around the world, countries have specialised in different segments of the supply chain. 随着生产扩展到全世界,各个国家专精负责供应链的不同环节。
  2. optimal: adj最佳的;最适宜的
  3. be the sweet spot for sth :sweet spot本义是球拍或者球棒的“最佳击球点”(the area on a bat which hits the ball in the most effective way),引申为“最有效点,…的完美结合”(a location or combination of characteristics that produces the best results)。


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