Tuesday, September 24, 2013

MIT Announces Two MOOC Sequences as edX Strategy Begins to Take Shape

Inside Higher Ed (09/18/13) Carl Straumsheim 

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is planning to package some of its online courses into more cohesive sequences, known as the "XSeries," while edX is preparing to launch a certificates of completion program using identify verification. The two initiatives may provide a look at what the future holds for the massive open online course (MOOC) provider. The XSeries adds a new layer of structure to MITx, the university's section of the edX platform. Each XSeries sequence will feature topics found in two to four face-to-face courses, and the first of seven courses in the Foundations of Computer Science XSeries will be offered this fall. edX's verified certificates are intended for students who enroll in online courses to further their careers. "Students have been asking for certificates that have more verification, more meaning behind them that they can add to their resumes," says edX's Dan O'Connell. A spokesperson for MIT says the new XSeries is part of an experiment to find new ways to offer programs. "Personally, I think it's pretty obvious we're headed into a new era of education," says MIT senior lecturer Christopher J. Terman. "I would be surprised if in 10 years the lay of the land wasn't really a lot different."