News & Announcements

Texas stampede

The Cavalier Daily 7 Oct 2012 By Managing Board
The Texas system of universities joined the edX initiative Monday. edX is a non-profit aimed at providing online education that was co-founded by MIT and Harvard and has since welcomed the University of California at Berkeley. But it is Texas — the most recent and least illustrious system of schools in the project — that looks to profit itself while putting other schools at risk by deciding to begin offering these online edX courses for credit. “Texas is now ground zero for this crisis,” said Hunter Rawlings, president of the Association of American Universities, in a speech given Monday on Grounds. Rawlings said the Texas legislature and its breakneck educative philosophy posed a threat to higher education at large Read more about The Cavalier Daily | Texas stampede

New Experiments in the edX Higher Ed Petri Dish

Non-Profit Quarterly 4 Oct 2012 By Michelle Shumate
In the past six months, online education focused on massive open online courses (MOOCs) has taken off. NPQ has noted the emergence of edX and the rise of Coursera. The Chronicle of Higher Education suggests that online education, at least in the edX model, has found its metaphor: this is a live laboratory. edX is experimenting with five practices, seeing what works in the new online environment: Read more about Non-Profit Quarterly | New Experiments in the edX Higher Ed Petri Dish

edX: Harvard's New Domain

The Harvard Crimson 4 Oct 2012 By Delphine Rodrik
On May 2, YouTube user “EdXOnline” uploaded a video entitled “edX: The Future of Online Education is Now.” The video, a two and a half minute trailer for the $60 million open source online education platform jointly overseen by Harvard and MIT, hit over 150,000 views within weeks. In the video’s opening statement, L. Rafael Reif, President (then Provost) of MIT describes the project in these terms: “so novel,” “so new,” “so different,”“very exciting,” “very scary,” and “potentially disruptive.” Behind these comments, instrumental music plays—the kind you would expect to inspire a younger generation, and more non-profit anthem than superhero theme song. The possibly disruptive implications of edX have been of particular interest to media outlets and educational commentators, inspiring evocative headlines like“Online Classes Cut Costs, But Do They Dilute Brands?”(NPR) and “Will edX Put Harvard and MIT Out of Business?” (Forbes). In the five months between the announcement of edX and the launch of the first-ever HarvardX courses in October (CS50x: “Introduction to Computer Science,” and PH207x: “Health in Numbers: Quantitative Methods in Clinical & Public Heath Research”), the term “MOOC” (massive open online courses) has gained traction in the media and blogosphere. Speculation about whether MOOC-generated textbook sales might provide a vital boost to publishers has occurred alongside philosophical debates over the merits of the traditional four year university. Read more about The Harvard Crimson | edX: Harvard's New Domain

Arts and Sciences: Better Budget, Burgeoning Ambitions

Harvard Magazine 4 Oct 2012 By edX Staff
Dean Michael D. Smith’s annual report for fiscal year 2012—previewed with Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) colleagues at their October 2 meeting and published two days later—declares victory and outlines a future campaign. Stabilizing Finances The retrospective victory note concerns the faculty’s finances: after projecting large deficits in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and a sharp decline in the value of the endowment, FAS, as planned, achieved a balanced budget in its “unrestricted Core operations”: the faculty, the Gradate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS), and the College. This “structural balance,” as Smith writes, is “an important achievement…made possible by the faculty’s ongoing fiscal discipline over the preceding three years.” Read more about Harvard Magazine | Arts and Sciences: Better Budget, Burgeoning Ambitions

What Campuses Can Learn From Online Teaching

WSJ.COM 2 Oct 2012 By edX Staff
Higher education is at a crossroads not seen since the introduction of the printing press. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other campuses, the upheaval today is coming from the technological change posed by online education. But that's only the half of it. Just as edX, Coursera, Udacity and other online-learning platforms are beginning to offer the teaching of great universities at low or no cost, residential education's long-simmering financial problem is reaching a crisis point. Universities have been sharing some of their course content—such as reading material and videotaped lectures—free online for more than a decade. (MIT launched OpenCourseWare in 2001.) In the past year, however, they've developed technology that lets them actually teach in an interactive format designed specifically for online learning. Read more about WSJ.COM | What Campuses Can Learn From Online Teaching

MIT profs wait to teach you, for free

Daily News and Analysis 1 Oct 2012 By Kanchan Srivastava
Ashwith Rego, 24, an Electronics and Communications engineer from Mangalore, quit his job to prepare for Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) to pursue an MTech. He enrolled with EdX, a free online education portal launched by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University early this year. Thrilled that he could do a 6.002X (Circuits and Electronics) course by an MIT professor while sitting at home, Ashwith says, “The lectures consisted of short video snippets with exercise problems in between. Theory, experiments and the discussion forum all helped me understand and apply what I was taught.” Read more about Daily News and Analysis | MIT profs wait to teach you, for free

5 Ways That edX Could Change Education

The Chronicle 1 Oct 2012 By Marc Parry
Since MIT and Harvard started edX, their joint experiment with free online courses, the venture has attracted enormous attention for opening the ivory tower to the world. But in the process, the world will become part of an expensive and ambitious experiment testing some of the most interesting—and difficult—questions in digital education. Can community-college students benefit from a new form of hybrid learning, based on a mix of local instruction and edX content? Can colleges tap alumni as teaching volunteers? Can labs be reinvented in the style of online video games? Read more about The Chronicle | 5 Ways That edX Could Change Education