Oxford has announced today that it will run Massive open online courses (Moocs) for the first time, in connection with US platform edX. It will begin enrolling students for a course, beginning in February 2017, called “From Poverty to Prosperity: Understanding Economic Development”.
The course will look at the role governments play as a catalyst for economic development. It will be headed by Sir Paul Collier, professor of economics and public policy at the Blavatnik School of Government.
Moocs, free online courses typically based around lectures and readings, are an increasingly popular form of distance learning. They have seen exceptional growth in the USA in recent years, and have been praised for increasing access and affordability of higher education resources.
The edX platform, also used by Harvard, the Sorbonne and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has nine million registered students and hosts over 900 online courses.
Sarah Whatmore, pro vice-chancellor for education, said that the new project “will build capacity for the design and delivery of a range of other online education experiences.”
“Oxford already has a strong reputation for delivering open educational resources that are used by students, academics and the public worldwide,” she added.
Anant Agarwal, chief executive of edX and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the company was delighted that Oxford had joined the edX platform.
“Our collaboration begins with content from the Blavatnik School to provide our nine million learners with access to an innovative programme that offer insights from a range of academic disciplines and a strong global outlook,” he said.
“We are excited to partner with Oxford to further our shared mission to improve lives and increase access to high quality education for learners everywhere.”