EdX is an educational online service which was established by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University. Each university has contributed $30 million to the not-for-profit organisation. It offers MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and interactive online courses free of charge and accessible to everyone with internet access. Since its first launch in 2012 it rapidly expanded with many universities joining worldwide, such as the University of Toronto, the Technische Universität München, the Australian National University and the University of Hong Kong, to name a few. To date 25 universities have joined MIT and Harvard in their venture.
Anant Agarwal, the first edX president and a professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, said: "EdX's mission simply put is to dramatically increase access to education for students worldwide, while at the same time reimagine how education works on our own campuses."
The first prototype course to launch was the Circuits and Electronics course which was a huge success with over 150,000 students enrolling. Courses now range from fields in science, humanities and economics and there are over 50 to choose from, a number which is constantly increasing. Some courses require prerequisites, but many can be taken without any. EdX is open to people from all over the world. It is a tool designed to enhance the learning experience on campus and beyond. There is no admissions process, but there are exams and various assessments that have to be completed in order to receive a certificate of mastery. The certificates are presently free of charge, but there may be a modest charge introduced in the future.
Last month edX celebrated its first year, with many new courses introduced: EdX's 1st Birthday
The features that are currently available or planned for the edX learning platform include self-paced learning, online discussion groups, wiki-based collaborative learning, assessment of learning as a student progresses through a course, and online laboratories and other interactive learning tools. The platform will be improved continuously by the collaborators adding new features as needs arise. (EdX)
Harvard President Drew Faust said: "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." (MIT News)
A student from Brazil, Arthur Amaral, shared his experience on the course he took last spring:
"From the start, I could see how much effort was put in building 6.002x. I could see that there was a well-structured staff that was chosen to design a platform that could connect students all over the planet. Navigation was simple, and both written and video tutorials by Lyla Fischer about the system were great.
One of the best things about 6.002x was the community built by the students themselves. The atmosphere was great: people shared their enthusiasm and knowledge, and lended a hand to those like me who didn't have the basics for the course. All of this was done in a very friendly environment. This was something that really helped me keep moving forward in 6.002x." For the full blog go to: Beyond The Circuits: A Student's Experience with 6.002x
The edX platform also offers flexibility which means that you can register or unregister at any time. The duration of the courses vary and can last a few weeks or months. Upon successful completion participants receive a certificate of mastery. There is currently no formal academic credit granted for these courses, however, edX is a great opportunity for people to indulge into a field of their interest and experience courses offered by some of the most prestigious universities worldwide.
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