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Georgetown U. Joins ‘EdX’ Online Learning Network

Harvard, MIT among institution engaging in ‘massive open online courses’

The online education network known as “edX,” which is comprised of some of the world’s most prestigious colleges and universities that are providing online courses to students worldwide for free, says Georgetown University has joined its ranks.
In addition to Georgetown, edX counts Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California, Berkeley and Wellesley College as providers of “massive open online courses.” Of those schools, Harvard and MIT are the founding force behind edX.
In a testament to distance learning, Harvard and MIT announced the formation of edX in May 2012, and by the fall 370,000 students signed up the program’s first official MOOCs.
Georgetown joined edX because the school is “committed to working at the frontiers of education and meeting global needs,” said John DeGioia, the university’s president. “In joining edX, we become part of a consortium of institutions on the cutting edge of higher education,” he says
“This new partnership offers us an exciting opportunity to continue in this work to enhance learning and research both online and on our campuses, and to fulfill our mission of creating and disseminating knowledge in innovative and effective new ways,” DeGioia added.
Along with offering online courses, Georgetown says it will use edX to research how students learn and how technology can enrich learning on campus, and the university will use tools in the edX platform to innovate and create new approaches to teaching on campus at its Washington and Doha, Qatar, locations.
In addition, MIT says the technological platform that is serving as the foundation for the new learning system was designed to offer online versions of MIT courses featuring video lesson segments, embedded quizzes, immediate feedback, student-ranked questions and answers, online laboratories and student-paced learning.
To further provide access to edX, the learning platform will be released as open-source software so it can be used by other universities and organizations wanting to host the platform, MIT says. By making the platform available as open-source software, other universities and individuals will be able to help edX improve and add features to the technology, MIT says.
The edX platform will enable the study of which teaching methods and tools are most successful. The findings of this research will be used to inform how faculty use technology in their teaching, which will enhance the experience for students on campus and for the millions expected to take advantage of these new online offerings.