Special Reports

Oxford University To Offer First MOOC Early Next Year


Oxford University has announced that it will be launching its first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) by early next year. It is created in collaboration with online platform edX.

Online education has reshaped learning. It is a new approach to teaching and learning that pushes the boundaries on traditional classes. It has helped several working adults finish their degrees, whether graduate or post-graduate, and continue with their respective careers at the same time.

While online education has been around for a long time, with top universities offering courses for a high fee, classes, called MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses, are expected to revolutionize higher education. These online courses are different because they use new technology, feature well-known professors and they don't cost anything.

Times Higher Education reported that the University of Oxford has announced a new partnership with U.S. online learning platform edX. This will allow the institution to deliver its first MOOC, named "From Poverty to Prosperity: Understanding Economic Development," from Feb. 2017.

Pro vice-chancellor for education Sarah Whatmore noted that the collaboration "will build capacity for the design and delivery of a range of other online education experiences" as the institution develops its digital education strategy. "Oxford already has a strong reputation for delivering open educational resources that are used by students, academics and the public worldwide," she added.

Oxford's first MOOC will be led by Sir Paul Collier, professor of economics and public policy at the Blavatnik School of Government. It is now open for enrollment.

According to BBC, the course will focus on the role that governments play in economic development. Ngaire Woods, dean of Blavatnik, said that this would be "an effective way to expand access to knowledge beyond the classrooms of Oxford."

edX runs more than 900 online courses. It has already partnered with top universities in the U.S. such as Harvard, MIT and Berkeley. The online education platform has nine million registered students.

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