Distance Learning | News

Google, EdX Partner on MOOC Platform Development, Research

EdX has partnered with Google to develop the nonprofit massive open online course (MOOC) provider's learning platform, Open edX, and expand availability to institutions and individuals.

As part of the deal, the organizations "will build out and operate MOOC.org, a new site for non-xConsortium universities, institutions, businesses, governments and teachers to build and host their courses for a global audience," according to a news release about the partnership.

"We support the development of a diverse education ecosystem, as learning expands in the online world," Google Director of Research Dan Clancy wrote in a blog post about the partnership. "Part of that means that educational institutions should easily be able to bring their content online and manage their relationships with their students. Our industry is in the early stages of MOOCs, and lots of experimentation is still needed to find the best way to meet the educational needs of the world. An open ecosystem with multiple players encourages rapid experimentation and innovation, and we applaud the work going on in this space today. "

"We have long admired Google's commitment to open access to information, and we believe they will be a perfect partner to work with as we shape the next generation of open education and learning," said Anant Agarwal, edX president, in a prepared statement. "Google shares our mission to improve learning both on-campus and online. Working with Google's world-class engineers and technology will enable us to advance online, on-campus and blended learning experiences faster and more effectively than ever before."

In addition to collaborating on the development of the platform, Google and edX will work together on research into how students learn and how technology can improve teaching and learning.

"We envision that the site will become an ideal way to develop and refine novel online learning experiences," said Agarwal. "Faculty, for example, new to online learning could get their feet wet, and learners who may not want to take a full course could also just get a taste. Moreover, we will be able to learn how to improve our platform by having more individuals build and use content."

EdX is a non-profit founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in May 2012. Comprising 28 global educational institutoions, the massive open online course (MOOC) provider "is focused on transforming online and on-campus learning through groundbreaking methodologies, game-like experiences and cutting-edge research on an open source platform," according to information released by the organization. 

For more information about the partnership, visit mooc.org.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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