Harvard, MIT to partner in $60m initiative on free online classes

By Mary Carmichael and Johanna Kaiser, Boston Globe

Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said today they will team up to launch a $60 million initiative to offer free, online, college-level courses under a joint superbrand known as edX. The announcement instantly makes the entity a preeminent player in the burgeoning worldwide online education sector, which has seen several major start-ups — including some affiliated with top-tier universities — in recent months. MIT already has a head start. But Harvard’s role in the project goes well beyond using MIT’s existing platform to deliver its own content. The two universities also plan to collaborate on research into how students learn online by monitoring the progress of the hundreds of thousands of people they hope will sign up for classes, which could range from high-level math and engineering to the humanities.


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