Where MIT and Harvard lead…

A fascinating article on the BBC talks about the co-operation between MIT and Harvard to launch edX, a platform for delivering courses online.

To put this into perspective, the first online course MITx (the prototype platform) delivered earlier this year had, and I quote, “more students than the entire number of living students who have graduated from the university”.

Did I mention this is currently free of charge? This raises some interesting questions. On the one hand here are two major institutions offering a subsidised programme but on the other, their campus-based studies will cost you over £30k a year. Of course, you’ll not get a degree for doing an online course, even though they’re said to be as rigorous as the real thing, but you will get a certificate of mastery.

Regardless of the politics, it’ll be interesting to see how their online teaching practices deliver in terms of engagement, interaction and quality of resources.

About Martin

Research e-Resource Officer at Lboro, based in the Research Office with responsibilities in the Graduate School, and close collaboration with the e-Learning Team (Teaching Centre) and the Library.
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2 Responses to Where MIT and Harvard lead…

  1. Chao says:

    I thought Open University has been doing this for years right (and you can actually get a degree)? What’s new?

    • Martin says:

      Yep, good question. But what if you don’t need or want a degree? What if you’re doing it for personal development? Or want to taste the level of academic rigour?

      From a researcher development perspective online methods give you an asynchronous means of delivering training, which is good if it means you can get people up to speed on topics when they themselves feel the need (the Khan Academy approach). It’ll be interesting to see exactly what is ‘new’: how the MITx approach evolves, where it fits in with the portfolio of HE and what the pedagogic styles used are.

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