Getting accepted into a prestigious university is a daunting task. Paying for it can be even more daunting. In an effort to help those all over the globe further their education, MIT and Harvard University created a non-profit organization called edX.
The online platform is actually a conglomerate of academic institutions from around the globe including the aforementioned universities plus other notables including Georgetown University, Kyoto University, Technical University Munich, and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, as well as a host of others. The open-source online courses began being offered for free back in the fall of 2012, and there are already more than 1 million students taking online courses.
edX has also adopted a computerized grading program that automatically grades classwork and tests, which will eventually be upgraded and capable of marking essays. Students taking online courses will receive a certificate of mastery (no college credits) if they have completed the course on a satisfactory level.
There are 64 online classes being offered through edX for the fall of 2013. They include some seriously heavy courses such as Introduction to Computer Science, Neuronal Dynamics, Introduction to Bioethics, Introduction to Solid State Chemistry, and Foundations of Computer Graphics. The courses offered cover a wide range of curriculum that includes art, science, and technology that can be accessed 24/7, which lets the students learn on their own time rather than having a set schedule. Classes are typically seven to 12 weeks long and students can interact with each other and professors on edX’s discussion board.
An interesting feature of the courses offered allow you to instantly check to see if you’ve answered questions correctly, and in some cases, change your answer if it’s wrong. Those interested in taking fall classes can sign up on the edX website.
You also make a great point, Debera "Students can opt for Edx for investigation of any subject they are curous about" in that it can be a great starting point for students to explore different areas of interest without having to make a financial commitment first.
I beleive in future Edx will change the online learning concept as well. However many professors of many institutes add many of there lectures online but students find it difficult to access them and cant grab the whole lecture as well because whole information is usually not present but edx has changed this concept . It has evolved the discussion forum as well i guess in future different universities will be doing the same thing .
Nancy, i totally agree with you this is really a very good platform for those who have hunger for knowledge and cant go to professional universities or institutions either because of financial issues or some others. Although its not equivalent to any specific degree it might act as a suppliment to students or it can provide any knowledge regarding any specific topic to the concern person without getting himself enrolled in any university or institute however later on he can get enrolled as well. Students can opt for Edx for investigation of any subject they are curous about . Hence according to me it can act as an asset in near future .
I think this is a wonderful concept. I understand what you both are saying, and your points are valid from your perspectives - but what a wonderful opportunity for those who are unable to pursue a traditional college education! From their home page:
"EdX is a non-profit created by founding partners Harvard and MIT. We're bringing the best of higher education to students around the world."
You can't get much better credentials for validating credibility and these courses are an opportunity for hungry minds to pursue knowledge. If someone wants to pursue a degree later - they will be better prepared, and for those who are unable to do so, they can still increase their knowledge in areas that interest them or that they can derive benefit from. As far as maintaining student motivation - I think that intangible trait known as "want to" drives those students who really desire to learn...course grade or not.
naperlou, I agree: trying to maintain the course schedule without a true tangible outcome makes it difficult to complete the class. As an instructor for Makes' Maker Training Camps' the challenge is to have active participating students. The course I developed is an Introduction to Raspberry Pi. The video lectures are pre-recorded, I have Office Hours, and I moderate an Intro to Raspberry Pi Google+ community. There are weekly homework assignments along with hands-on labs for each pre-recorded video lecture. With all of the activities mentioned, I have about 3-4 active participating students. Although, the Maker Training Camps are hobbyist based courses the participation is because of the low demand made upon the students. Once enrolled in a course, they can move at their own pace which diminishes the learning motivation for the student. I'm currently developing a second course which will focus on how to build electronic controllers using the Raspberry Pi. Also, I'm working with the Program Director to solve the problem of low student participation in the classes. The link below provides additional information about the Maker Training Camps.
This is the same as Coursera, from which I have taken a couple of courses. Frankly, I find them hard to finish becuase there is no real credit. I am currently enrolled in a traditional MS program. I find the class interaction still valuable.
Unless these on-line systems can be tied to exams that give real credit will there be a sea change. I can also see a need to give cedit for professional certifications. Until then, it will remain a curiosity. I am not sure you could not get as much out of a well written textbook.
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.