M.I.T. expanding free online courses

M.I.T. and Stanford have been pioneers in offering free online courses with both schools expanding their offerings this year.

The focus on these free online courses so far have been lecture videos. But the next step is to incorporate more of a true learning experience:

But the new “M.I.T.x” interactive online learning platform will go further, giving students access to online laboratories, self-assessments and student-to-student discussions.

The M.I.T.x classes, he said, will have online discussions and forums where students can ask questions and, often, have them answered by others in the class.

While access to the software will be free, there will most likely be an “affordable” charge, not yet determined, for a credential.

“I think for someone to feel they’re earning something, they ought to pay something, but the point is to make it extremely affordable,” Mr. Reif said. “The most important thing is that it’ll be a certificate that will clearly state that a body sanctioned by M.I.T. says you have gained mastery.”

Sign me up. I’ll be taking a few Stanford classes this Spring, and will be interested in testing out the new M.I.T.x courses next year as well. I’ll report back on how I like them and thoughts on how they could improve or how you could use them.

Source: The New York Times.