Berkeley To Join EdX: The Free Online Learning Partnership

In the tussle to have a niche role in the world of online education, the University of California, Berkeley, has joined edX, the free nonprofit online learning venture founded by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Berkeley will be offering two courses, contributing new open-source technology and heading a soon-to-be-formed consortium of universities joining edX.

Berkeley’s decision to join with edX is remarkable because of the university’s prominence, and because several of its professors have been offering free online courses through Coursera, a competing platform for massive open online courses, or MOOCs, created by two Stanford University computer scientists.

Coursera, which already had partnerships with the University of Michigan, Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania, announced that it would offer more than 100 courses from an expanded roster of 16 top-tier universities, including the California Institute of Technology, Duke University and the University of Virginia.

This fall, edX will offer seven MOOCs: artificial intelligence and software engineering from Berkeley, computer science and biostatistics and epidemiology from Harvard, and an introduction to solid state chemistry and an introduction to computer science and programming from M.I.T., along with another round of the circuits course it offered as a prototype.

Those who finish this fall’s courses will get free certificates of completion. Later, edX plans to charge for certificates. The edX courses, like those offered by Coursera, will vary in length.

MITx, created in December 2011, enrolled more than 150,000 students worldwide, ages 14 to 74, in its prototype circuits course. In May, Harvard joined, and the partnership became edX, with each university contributing $30 million. Additional support has since come from individuals and foundations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Adapted from “Berkeley to Join the Free Online Learning Partnership EdX”. To read, click here.

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