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EdX Goes International: The Challenge Of Massive Open Online Courses…

EdX expands globally offering a new innovative dimension on online learning by providing qualified courses anytime, everywhere in the world:

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Six new institutions join edX – MIT News

EdX, the not-for-profit online learning enterprise founded by MIT and Harvard University, announced  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.

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Reaching the Spanish-speaking world is a major learning challenge:

Providers of free online college courses add schools, including many foreign ones – Washington Post (blog)

Two major providers of free online higher education are expanding the ranks of universities that contribute courses to their Web sites, adding many schools from outside the United States. Coursera, based in Mountain View, Calif., plans to announce Thursday that 29 universities and institutes are joining the online venture that was launched last spring, bringing the total to 62. Among the newcomers are prominent schools in Mexico and Spain, which will enable free courses to reach the Spanish-speaking world, and schools in Hong Kong and Taiwan, which will provide access to those who speak Chinese. EdX, a nonprofit organization based in Cambridge, Mass., announced late Wednesday that it is adding six universities to a consortium that Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) began last spring. With the expansion, EdX will offer courses from 11 colleges and universities as well as the University of Texas system. Five of the new EdX partners are from Australia, the Netherlands, Canada and Switzerland.

There is a certain classical question for setting boundaries between learning quantity and e-quality:

Europeans Take a More Cautious Approach Toward Online Courses – New York Times

Ever since the German computer scientist Sebastian Thrun sent out an e-mail in 2011 announcing that his “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” course at Stanford University in California would be available free online, the education world has been both enthralled and terrified by the advent of massive open online courses, or MOOCs. The size of the potential audience was a revelation: More than 160,000 students from 190 countries signed up, prompting Dr. Thrun to quit his day job and start his own online learning company, Udacity.Udacity; Coursera, founded by two other Stanford professors; and edX, formed by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, are the three big names in online learning. Of the 248 students who received a perfect score in Dr. Thrun’s course, not one came from Stanford, prompting some to wonder whether elite American universities were missing out on potential talent. And universities that did not have their own MOOCs worried about missing the boat. That anxiety was on view this month at a conference at the University of London, which has been in the distance learning business since 1858, as Adrian Smith, the university’s new vice chancellor, reminded his audience. Pointing out that there are 52,000 students enrolled in the university’s international programs — who take the same exams as their counterparts in Bloomsbury and receive a University of London degree — Mr. Smith said “there has been an incredible amount of hype” about the online courses.

Finally, online learning and other innovative challenges bring us closer to the future learning systems. EDX: Knowledge without boundaries…

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