Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Breaking News

Community News Network

December 10, 2012

Elite colleges take to web

Georgetown University is joining one of the most prominent ventures in online higher education, a Web platform known as edX that provides courses from elite schools to a global audience for free.

The addition of Georgetown to edX marks the latest development in a fast-growing movement that aspires to connect the ivory tower to the world.

Millions of people have signed up this year on Web sites for massive open online courses, or MOOCs, which offer self-paced learning through video lectures, tests, homework, discussion boards and other digital interfaces. Advocates say MOOCs will democratize higher education and spark a teaching revolution on campuses. Skeptics call it little more than brand promotion.

EdX, which Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology launched in May, hosts MOOCs from those schools and the University of California at Berkeley. The University of Texas system joined in October and Wellesley College last week. Like Georgetown, they plan to add MOOCs to edX next year.

Another MOOC platform, Coursera, which launched in April, hosts classes from Johns Hopkins University, the universities of Maryland and Virginia, and 30 other major U.S. and foreign institutions.

For Georgetown, the nation's oldest Catholic university, securing an agreement to work with the site led by MIT and Harvard was a major coup. Two hundred colleges and universities have approached edX about possible partnerships. But the site's leadership has been extremely selective.

"We would like to have the best courses from the best professors from the best universities," edX President Anant Agarwal said. "Georgetown certainly brings that."

Georgetown President John J. DeGioia, who helped oversee an accreditation review of Harvard a few years ago, said he and Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust began discussing MOOC ventures over the summer. DeGioia said it became clear that it would be possible to work with edX as he met with Agarwal at the Web site's headquarters in Cambridge, Mass., in mid-September.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Affirmative action ruling challenges colleges seeking diversity

    The U.S. Supreme Court's support of Michigan's ban on race-based affirmative action in university admissions may spur colleges to find new ways to achieve diversity without using racial preferences.

    April 23, 2014

  • A 'wearable robot' helps her walk again

    Science is about facts, numbers, laws and formulas. To be really good at it, you need to spend a lot of time in school. But science is also about something more: dreaming big and helping people.

    April 23, 2014

  • Cuba is running out of condoms

    The newest item on Cuba's list of dwindling commodities is condoms, which are now reportedly in short supply. In response, the Cuban government has approved the sale of expired condoms.

    April 23, 2014

  • The waffle taco's biggest enemy isn't McDonald's. It's consumer habits.

    Gesturing to Taco Bell, Thompson said McDonald's had "not seen an impact relative to the most recent competitor that entered the [breakfast] space," and that new competition would only make McDonald's pursue breakfast more aggressively.

    April 23, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 22, 2014

  • McCain 1 House Republicans are more active on Twitter than Democrats

    Your representative in the House is almost certainly on Twitter. Your senator definitely is. But how are they using the social network? Are Democrats more active than Republicans, or vice versa? Who has the most followers on the Hill?

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Do your genes make you procrastinate?

    Procrastinators, in my experience, like nothing better than explaining away their procrastination: General busyness, fear of failure, and simple laziness are just a handful of the excuses and theories often tossed around. Now researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have added another option to the list: genetics.

    April 21, 2014

Biz Marquee
AP Video