McGill to enter the MOOCs era
By McGill Reporter Staff
McGill will be joining several other universities around the world as a member of the not-for-profit edX consortium and plans to begin offering “massive open online courses” (MOOCs) in 2014.
MOOCs represent a fast-growing and transformational innovation in higher education. McGill shares with the edX online learning initiative a vision and set of objectives that will connect the learning styles and expectations of today’s university students and life-long learners with state-of-the-art developments in digital learning environments.
Cambridge, Massachusetts-based edX, founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, delivers 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. 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. To date, edX has more than 675,000 individuals using its platform. Its objective is to educate one billion people worldwide in 10 years.
McGill professors, working closely with edX technical and production teams, will design, develop, and deliver MOOCs, with initial course offerings to cover areas in sciences, humanities, and public policy.
MOOCs can widen access to quality educational experiences for large numbers of people and help educators to understand how learning can best be supported in the context of the online world. “Membership in the edX consortium ensures access to massive datasets that provide unprecedented opportunities to study how students learn in digital environments, to develop assessment tools for these broadly distributed platforms, and to improve technology-supported learning on campus,” said McGill Prof. Anthony C. Masi.
“We welcome the opportunity to collaborate in the edX consortium, where we join other leading universities as pioneers in digital pedagogy for the global online learning community,” added Principal Heather Munroe-Blum.