Harvard, MIT partner to offer free online courses

By Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times

Harvard and MIT are donating $30 million each to develop education via the Internet. Online students will not earn credit, but the move is still seen as bringing prestige to the field. 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. Harvard and MIT are each donating $30 million to create a nonprofit organization, to be called “edX” that will develop an Internet platform for the classes and design new ways to teach and learn with technology, according to the two Cambridge, Mass., schools. They will join an emerging arena in which other research universities, Stanford among them, and private ventures around the world are trying to stake out territory. The first five or so free classes are expected to be offered in the fall, and the number will expand in subsequent years from the Harvard-MIT partnership and other universities that may join it, officials said.


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