The following is adapted from a press release issued today by edX.
EdX, the not-for-profit online learning enterprise founded by MIT and Harvard University, announced today the addition of six new global higher-education institutions.
The Australian National University (ANU), Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, McGill University and the University of Toronto in Canada, and Rice University in the United States will use the edX platform to deliver the next generation of online and blended courses. This international expansion enables edX to better achieve its mission of providing world-class courses to everyone, everywhere, and is the natural next step to continue serving the large international student body already using edX on a daily basis.
While MOOCs, or massive open online courses, have typically focused on offering a variety of online courses inexpensively or for free, edX is building an open-source educational platform and a network of the world’s top universities to improve education both online and on campus while conducting research on how students learn. To date, edX has more than 700,000 individuals on its platform, who account for more than 900,000 course enrollments. The addition of these new higher-education institutions stretching from North America to Europe to the Asia Pacific will double the number of consortium members and add a rich variety of new courses to edX’s offerings.
“We have had an international student community from the very beginning, and bringing these leading universities from North America and Europe and the Asia Pacific into the edX organization will help us meet the tremendous demand we are experiencing,” said Anant Agarwal, president of edX. “Each of these schools was carefully selected for the distinct expertise they bring to our growing family of edX institutions. We remain committed to growing edX to meet the needs of the world while maintaining a superior learning experience for all.”
Courses offered by institutions on the edX platform provide the same rigor as on-campus classes but are designed to take advantage of the unique features and benefits of online learning environments, including gamelike experiences, instant feedback and virtual laboratories. Through edX, the new universities will provide interactive education experiences for students around the world. All that is required of edX students is access to the Internet and a desire to learn. By breaking down the barriers of location and cost and enabling the global exchange of information and ideas, edX is changing the foundations of both teaching and learning.
The new member institutions will join founding universities MIT and Harvard, as well as the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Texas System, Wellesley College and Georgetown University. ANUx, DelftX, EPFLx, McGillX, RiceX and TorontoX will offer courses on edX beginning in late 2013. All of the courses will be hosted on edX’s open source platform at www.edx.org.