Two of the world’s top universities, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are joining hands to offer edX, a transformational new partnership in online education. The announcement of edX can be great news for worldwide learners. Why? Through edX, millions of online learners around the world will have access to Harvard and MIT classes online for free. The first set of courses is expected to be announced this summer and students can take classes in the fall 2012.
Are you still immersed in the great joy of free online classes from the two academic heavyweights? Now you must be curious to know much more about the new program. Several quick FAQs below will offer as many details as possible.
What is edX?
As mentioned above, edX is a joint partnership between MIT and Harvard. It can be an open-source technology platform to deliver online classes. The two top institutions are intending to work together to build a global community of online learners, laying a solid foundation to improve education for everyone. Currently enrolled students at Harvard and MIT are included.
Why the two institutions are willing to team up on the new initiative? Harvard and MIT want to not only build a global community of online learners, but enhance their campus-based teaching and learning.
Through edX, worldwide learners will have greater access to quality education. Capable online learners are allowed to earn certificates of mastery. EdX also makes the open source platform available to other institutions. MIT and Harvard can also enhance their understanding of how students learn on campus through edX research.
This open-source online learning platform highlights teaching designed specifically for the web. If you’re interested in this free platform and want to take classes online, you may choose from self-paced learning, wiki-based collaborative learning, online laboratories, assessment of learning and online discussion groups. The platform will be continuously improved.
EdX does not have the standard model of online education that depends on watching video content. Online learners can expect an interactive experience through this platform. Perhaps that’s the major difference between edX and other schools’ online programs.
Who can take edX courses?
Online classes delivered through edX seem to be innovative. Can anyone take edX courses? As long as you have a computer and an internet connection, you’ll be able to take edX courses. Generally speaking, no admission process is required, simplifying the process of taking online classes.
Many online learners may be concerned with another question: Will there be a certificate awarded by Harvard and/or MIT? Online students who demonstrate mastery of subjects will be awarded credentials. The certificate of completion is always determined by edX board, MIT and Harvard.
NOTE: Credentials may be offered for a modest fee. If you want to get a certificated awarded by MIT or Harvard, you might be disappointed since certificate will not be issued under the name of Harvard or MIT. Only when you’re admitted to MIT/Harvard and attending classes on campus in person, you’re likely to get a diploma awarded by MIT/Harvard.
Neither Harvard nor MIT students are allowed to take these online courses for credit. These online classes are only used to extend and enrich campus-based courses for Harvard and MIT students.
Should you take these online courses through edX?
Given the fact that edX online courses are available to anyone who has interest in advancing their knowledge, you may consider the necessity of taking these courses. As you know, both Harvard and MIT are extremely selective. The chances of sitting in a Harvard or MIT classroom can be zero for many worldwide learners. Why not grasp the precious opportunity to take Harvard and MIT courses?
EdX serves as a not-for-profit online program. MIT and Harvard have funded $60 million to launch the collaboration. The program will be separate from ongoing distance learning initiatives at both universities. The edX platform may provide near-term course offerings from a wide range of Harvard and MIT schools.
Best of all, you can sign up for these online courses free of charge. In addition, online courses offered through edX come in several different forms. You won’t be bored while taking online classes. For example, edX online courses allow online students to watch video lesson segments, take embedded quizzes and participate in online laboratories.
After successful competition of program work, you may earn certificates. But it does not mean you can get a top-tier diploma. However, all the courses delivered through the platform are taught by MIT and Harvard faculty. It’s really a good chance to know the learning and teaching mode at the world’s top universities.
If you’re interested in edX, make sure to pay attention to the website updates. The first set of courses will be announced in early summer. The platform will be working for online learners throughout the world in this fall.
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