This week brings the official launch of Harvard and MIT’s EdX program. According to BostInno (h/t John Ellis), the new program is off to a good start, with more than 100,000 students already registered for the first courses. And as students and teachers become acclimated to the platform, Harvard will continue to tailor the program to meet the changing needs of online learners:
Although the initial enthusiasm is encouraging, Harvard University Provost Alan Garber told the Boston Globe:
We really think that the first courses we offer will be great, but long term the payoff is going to come from a better understanding about how people learn.
As the platform continues to grow, more features will be added to accommodate different courses, such as the ability to submit essays, along with the grading solutions tied in with that. Garber told the Boston Globe edX “already supports discussion groups and forums that make online education effective and more engaging than textbooks,” so it will be interesting to see how students interact with the platform as it evolves.
Online education has made great strides this year. We’re happy to see one of America’s oldest and most prestigious universities joining in. Continued experimentation will lead to a better product as institutions learn from and compete with each other. It’s an exciting time to be learning online.