This new initiative is an expansion of the existing OpenCourseWare initiative and the MITx which streamed video of classes and, in the case of MITx, even introduced some basic quizzes. But EdX not only brings two of the top universities in the United States together with the sole purpose of educating your average joe, it does it with a level of completionism normally reserved for the classroom.
What’s more is that the universities have pledged $60 million to the project, with each taking half the cost. $30 million from each university can buy a lot of educational power, and it’s looking like the courses will be quite complete. Right now we know that they are planning on offering streaming video, quizzes, homework and even online labs to those willing to complete the courses, though I doubt you will get a certificate like you did with the pilot MIT course.
Online learning is something that has seen an explosion in growh over the last decade. Online colleges have gone from being pariahs to being valid sources of education, we’ve seen full curriculums put online, and there are dozens of startups for learning new subjects.
There’s still no word on what courses will be offered on EdX, but expect them to be focused on the tech industry.
You can watch EdX’s introductory video, where the platform introduces itself to the world.