MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, Washington — Achieving universal education is a huge goal for development throughout the world. Developed nations, more often than not, have structured educational systems, granting educational access to the majority of their populations. In order to help bridge the gap and provide education to people who have less access to higher level courses, Harvard and MIT collaborated in 2012 to introduce free online courses. The initiative took off and many other institutions have joined EdX, including the University of Chicago, the University of Washington and international institutions such as Peking University and the Australian National University.
Fast forward two years later, and MIT and Harvard have released data about the efficiency of their free online courses.
Certification and enrollment differ by discourse. The Computer Science and STEM courses had average certification rates that were about half that of Humanities, History, Religion, Design and Education (HHRDE) and Government and Health and Social Sciences (GHSS) courses — seven percent and six percent versus 14 percent and 11 percent, respectively.
After analyzing the data, EdX has identified new opportunities and the next steps necessary to continue the program’s success.
Using this data, there is an opportunity to increase the number of participants and certificate-earners from underrepresented and underserved groups.
The second step is to increase and formalize the flow of pedagogical innovations to and from residential courses. The program is creating new opportunities for groups that have not previously had access to advanced courses. Regions currently suffering from lack of educators will have new ways to ensure that professionals can continue learning after high school at their own pace. We'll forgive you if you failed to take MIT up on its offer take its courses for free when it rolled out its MITx online learning platform last year. Show full PR text MIT and Harvard announce edX Joint partnership builds on MITx and Harvard distance learning; aims to benefit campus-based education and beyond. Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University enter a joint partnership called edX, to provide free classes online.
The prestigeous  universities will launch a $60 million initiative called edX that will offer course material from Harvard and MIT. Harvard and MIT may benefit from offering free classes by way of insight into the impact of education on people who wouldn't otherwise have access to prestigious universities.
Students who demonstrate mastery of the courses will be eligible for certificates of completion.
In a move that heightened competition in online education and brought more prestige to the still-fledgling field, Harvard University and MIT announced a partnership Wednesday to offer the public mainly free Internet classes. Call it the 'Ivy League Spring': the disruption of higher education by the Internet is opening up learning at the most prestigious institutions for the world to experience. The group of elite universities offering free online courses distance-education programs at Harvard and MIT, including Harvard’s Extension School and MIT’s OpenCourseWare, which has been putting course materials online for a decade.
BOSTON (Reuters) - Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, both academic heavyweights and often neighborly rivals, are joining hands in a new partnership to offer courses online and for free.

By Monica Brady-Myerov BOSTON Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology met midway between their campuses Wednesday in a hotel on the Charles River to announce a monumental partnership. BOSTON, (Reuters) – Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, both academic heavyweights and often neighborly rivals, are joining hands in a new partnership to offer courses online and for free. The United Nations has continuously stressed the importance of global education and has specified many priorities to achieve this strategy.
But beyond high school education, university degrees can more often than not be the difference between living in poverty and being well off. Students can also pay a small fee to receive official certificates as well when fulfilling professional development course requirements.
The results are promising but offer interesting insights into the world of free online education. The first step is to identify course-level and institutional priorities for increased access.
There is an opportunity to make the “secondary” use of open online course resources by teachers a primary goal that will be beneficial for all efforts targeted toward teacher development. New strategies learned in online teaching courses on EdX can be shared with educators around the world, improving efficiency.
However, Harvard took notice of its efforts, and has joined MIT online to form the edX platform and offer courses and content for free on the web.
More and more colleges are offering free courses online, including many prestigious institutions. Because edX is an open-source online platform, programmers can continuously help improve the software and other universities can make the platform available for their students. This is a promising find, perhaps indicating that those who are engaged in the pursuit of knowledge are willing to utilize the Internet to gain new skills. There's no word on the available subjects just yet, but video lessons, quizzes and online labs will all be a part of the curriculum, and those who comprehend the coursework can get a certificate of mastery upon completion.
Through edX, the two institutions will collaborate to enhance campus-based teaching and learning and build a global community of online learners. UC BerkeleyUC Berkeley offers online “webcast” courses in a range of departments from Biology to Asian American studies. MITThe Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Open Courseware (OCW) website has 2,100 free courses online using a combination of lecture notes, audio and video resources. Although they are no longer releasing new content, webcasts posted during or before the spring 2015 semester will remain free to the public.Check out their spread of computer science courses here. The first courses will be announced this summer, and classes are slated to start this fall. The technological platform recently established by MITx, which will serve as the foundation for the new learning system, was designed to offer online versions of MIT courses featuring video lesson segments, embedded quizzes, immediate feedback, student-ranked questions and answers, online laboratories and student-paced learning. Certificates of mastery will be available for those who are motivated and able to demonstrate their knowledge of the course material.

Carnegie MellonCarnegie Mellon's Open Learning Initiative (OLI) offers courses in a wide range of disciplines. Technical courses include engineering statistics, media programming, principles of computing and secure coding. The gathering of many universities' educational content together on one site will enable learners worldwide to access the course content of any participating university from a single website, and to use a set of online educational tools shared by all participating universities.
Like with most of these websites, there is no interaction with instructors, nor are course credits or certificates offered.4. HarvardSimilar to other universities, Harvard offers a wide variety of free courses online through their Open Learning courses. Because the learning technology will be available as open-source software, other universities and individuals will be able to help edX improve and add features to the technology.
They also have a few offbeat ones, like Bits: The Computer Science of Digital Information, which you probably won’t find at other universities!5.
The edX platform will enable the study of which teaching methods and tools are most successful. The findings of this research will be used to inform how faculty use technology in their teaching, which will enhance the experience for students on campus and for the millions expected to take advantage of these new online offerings. Notre DameThe Office of Digital Learning at the University of Notre Dame equips faculty to develop online course materials for free public use.
Currently there are only five courses available (with a statistics course bearing the closest resemblance to anything tech), but keep an eye out for new offerings.7. You’ll find their tech-related courses under the School of Information, or you can explore information yourself in the MLibrary.
Tech-related courses can be found under the School of Arts and Sciences or the School of Engineering (the latter offers one course on game development at time of writing).ConclusionOpen courseware has been hailed as the future of education around the world. MIT and Harvard have committed to a combined $60 million ($30 million each) in institutional support, grants and philanthropy to launch the collaboration.
It’s affordable, accessible, and (in most cases) as good a quality as you’d get attending the school “for real.” There’s no better time to start learning new skills.
It will also provide global access to some of the world-class instruction that already occurs at both institutions, but which is only one aspect of the full Harvard College and MIT experience.
During the early stages, the two universities will work cooperatively to offer as broad an initial set of courses as possible. A first set of courses is scheduled to be announced in early summer and to start in fall 2012.

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