In May 2012, Harvard joined forces with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to form edX, a not-for-profit enterprise dedicated to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The aim is to use the power of the Web to take the "learning to the learners” and to research how students learn and how technology can transform learning—both on campus and worldwide. edX is an enabling platform, allowing the lead institutions (Harvard and MIT) and select partners (e.g., Berkeley, University of Texas), to readily distribute course content and other academic materials.
When launched in parallel with the creation of edX, the University leadership made the decision to emphasize, first and foremost, HarvardX’s potential to enhance teaching and learning on campus, online, and beyond. HarvardX is a broad set of faculty-led activities and a new model not just for online education, but for how universities fundamentally support faculty innovation in the use of technology in teaching. As important, HarvardX is engaged with supporting research on pedagogy, or learning about learning.
EdX is a not-for-profit enterprise of its founding partners Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that features learning designed specifically for interactive study via the web. Based on a long history of collaboration and their shared educational missions, the founders are creating a new online-learning experience with online courses that reflect their disciplinary breadth.
Along with offering online courses, the institutions will use edX to research how students learn and how technology can transform learning–both on-campus and worldwide. Anant Agarwal, former Director of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, serves as the first president of edX. EdX's goals combine the desire to reach out to students of all ages, means, and nations, and to deliver these teachings from a faculty who reflect the diversity of its audience. EdX is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is governed by MIT and Harvard.
An organization established by MIT and Harvard that will develop an open-source technology platform to deliver online courses. EdX will support Harvard and MIT faculty in conducting research on teaching and learning on campus through tools that enrich classroom and laboratory experiences. At the same time, EdX also will reach learners around the world through online course materials. The EdX website will begin by hosting MITx and Harvardx content, with the goal of adding content from other universities interested in joining the platform. EdX will also support the Harvard and MIT faculty in conducting research on teaching and learning.
EdX is a priority for the leadership of both Harvard and MIT, and it will be governed by a board made up of key leaders from both institutions, appointed by each university’s president. MIT Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Anant Agrawal will be the initial President of EdX and will report to the board.
An open-source online learning platform that will feature teaching designed specifically for the web. Features will include: self-paced learning, online discussion groups, wiki-based collaborative learning, assessment of learning as a student progresses through a course, and online laboratories. The platform will also serve as a laboratory from which data will be gathered to better understand how students learn. Because it is open source, the platform will be continuously improved.
HarvardX is bold experimentation to push the boundaries of learning through re-imagined teaching, unprecedented research, and cutting-edge technology for Harvard students and learners everywhere. As a brand, its role is to be a catalyst.