Thursday, May 3, 2012
MIT and Harvard Announce edX
Harvard University and MIT today announced edX, a transformational new partnership in online education. Through edX, the two institutions will collaborate to enhance campus-based teaching and learning and build a global community of online learners.
EdX will build on both universities’ experience in offering online instructional content. The technological platform recently established by MITx, which will serve as the foundation for the new learning system, was designed to offer online versions of MIT courses featuring video lesson segments, embedded quizzes, immediate feedback, student-ranked questions and answers, online laboratories and student-paced learning. Certificates of mastery will be available for those who are motivated and able to demonstrate their knowledge of the course material.
MIT and Harvard expect that over time other universities will join them in offering courses on the edX platform. The gathering of many universities’ educational content together on one site will enable learners worldwide to access the course content of any participating university from a single website, and to use a set of online educational tools shared by all participating universities.
EdX will release its learning platform as open-source software so it can be used by other universities and organizations that wish to host the platform themselves. Because the learning technology will be available as open-source software, other universities and individuals will be able to help edX improve and add features to the technology.
MIT and Harvard will use the jointly operated edX platform to research how students learn and how technologies can facilitate effective teaching both on-campus and online. The edX platform will enable the study of which teaching methods and tools are most successful. The findings of this research will be used to inform how faculty use technology in their teaching, which will enhance the experience for students on campus and for the millions expected to take advantage of these new online offerings.
“EdX represents a unique opportunity to improve education on our own campuses through online learning, while simultaneously creating a bold new educational path for millions of learners worldwide,” MIT President Susan Hockfield said.
Harvard President Drew Faust said, “edX gives Harvard and MIT an unprecedented opportunity to dramatically extend our collective reach by conducting groundbreaking research into effective education and by extending online access to quality higher education.”
“Harvard and MIT will use these new technologies and the research they will make possible to lead the direction of online learning in a way that benefits our students, our peers, and people across the nation and the globe,” Faust continued.
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