The University of Chicago will expand its online course offerings following an agreement with edX, the interactive platform created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.
EdX is a non-profit organization, launched in 2012, which created a widely adopted open-source platform for online learning. With the addition of UChicago, the edX Consortium now includes 34 universities and colleges from around the world. EdX identifies its goals as expanding access to education, enhancing teaching and learning online and in the classroom, and advancing teaching and learning through research.
Last year, UChicago offered its first online courses through the education company Coursera. The agreements follow recommendations of two faculty committees charged with exploring for-credit and not-for-credit online course offerings.
The committees emphasized that UChicago should provide opportunities for faculty to begin to experiment, on a voluntary basis, with different forms of instruction and platforms in the rapidly expanding field of online education. The faculty groups also recommended rigorous evaluation of these early efforts, with strong faculty oversight.
Possible courses for the edX platform are still under development. Early Coursera offerings included free, not-for-credit courses on global warming and asset pricing.
EdX recently announced an expansion of its institutional membership to enable additional universities and colleges, foundations and other global organizations to join the edX community. Courses from the Smithsonian Institution and The Linux Foundation, among others, will provide a broader array of subjects to edX’s 2 million students.