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MIT and Harvard Announce New Online Instructional Content Platform

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Mon May 21 2012

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A Harvard alumnus shared this article with me, and I can’t help but ask ASTD’s Higher Education Community of Practice to share your thoughts. Many of the conversations I overheard at the ASTD 2012 Faculty Forum event in Denver touched on “the online classroom”.

As reported last week in the Harvard Gazette, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced the launch of edX, a transformational partnership in online education. Through edX, the two institutions will collaborate to enhance campus-based teaching and learning and build a global community of online learners.

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MIT and Harvard will use the jointly operated edX platform to research how students learn and how technologies can support effective teaching both on-campus and online. The edX platform will allow 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 of people expected to take advantage of these new online offerings.

Harvard President Drew Faust is quoted as saying, “EdX gives Harvard and MIT an unprecedented opportunity to dramatically extend our collective reach by conducting groundbreaking research into effective education and by extending online access to quality higher education.”

“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.”

What are your thoughts? How do you see edX benefiting you? Your students? How representative will the research be of students around the globe?

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