We know you’ve heard a lot about MOOCs lately. And we know you’ve heard about edX, too (especially since we’ve already written a bit about it). Online learning is nothing new, and though Harvard announced the courses way back in July, today is the official start of HarvardX classes.
According to the Boston Globe, about 100,000 students have signed up for the two free HarvardX courses: Introduction to Computer Science 1 and Health in Numbers: Quantitative Methods in Clinical and Public Health Research. While that may seem like a lot, Anant Agarwal, president of edX, says that edX can support a variety of ways to grade student work. Students can take as many courses as they’d like through EdX, and can receive a certificate of completion. For those who excel in the class, there is also the opportunity take a proctored exam and receive a credential.
Harvard provost Alan Garber said that the “…free courses are part of an effort to educate people worldwide and that the effort will help improve education on Harvard’s own campus.”
With so much hubbub surrounding these big-name university MOOCs, it will be interesting to see how these free courses fit in to the bigger education picture.
“We view this as an incredible opportunity for us to ask deeper questions about how people learn and how we as a university help people to learn,” said Garber.