Oxford announces its partnership with edX and its first MOOC | University of Oxford
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Oxford announces its partnership with edX and its first MOOC

The University has announced a new development in its Digital Education Strategy: a partnership with edX which means that, as from today, people can start to enrol for its first massive open online course.

As part of the agreement between the University of Oxford and edX, a leading nonprofit online learning destination, Oxford will offer a massive open online course (MOOC) from February 2017.

Professor Sarah Whatmore, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, said: 'This collaboration will build capacity for the design and delivery of a range of other online education experiences as the University progresses its Digital Education Strategy. Oxford already has a strong reputation for delivering open educational resources that are used by students, academics and the public worldwide.'

This collaboration will build capacity for the design and delivery of a range of other online education experiences as the University progresses its Digital Education Strategy

Professor Sarah Whatmore, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education

Professor Anne Trefethen, the University Chief Information Officer and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Gardens, Libraries and Museums, said: 'We are delighted to partner with edX and believe we have much to learn from each other as we explore further the potential of technology-enhanced learning.'

The first MOOC course, ‘From Poverty to Prosperity: Understanding Economic Development’, is freely available for enrolment on edx.org. It will be led by Sir Paul Collier, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government. The course will examine the vital role that governments play in boosting economic development through video lectures, case studies, comparative analysis and a range of other learning activities. The MOOC is aimed at anyone with an interest in economic development, from university students and people working in government and NGOs, through to education and business professionals, and active and engaged citizens who are passionate about the development of their countries. Enrolment opens today, and participants need no specific academic qualifications.

Professor Ngaire Woods, Dean at the Blavatnik School of Government, said: ‘The School’s mission is to improve government around the world through research and education, and this requires better educated public officials, teachers, entrepreneurs, journalists and citizens. We see this first massive open online course as an effective way to expand access to knowledge beyond the classrooms of Oxford, and to help people understand how their community and country can flourish wherever they are in the world.’

Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX and Professor at MIT, said: ‘We are honoured to welcome the University of Oxford, a world-leading centre of learning, teaching and research and the oldest university in the English-speaking world, to the edX global consortium. Our collaboration begins with content from the Blavatnik School of Government 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. 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.’

The University of Oxford already has a varied and extensive online presence, offering podcasts which are freely available from both the University’s website and iTunes U. The University has also played a significant role in the development and use of digital resources for research in the humanities. Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, which has been delivering adult and professional education for 135 years, also offers a wide range of certified online courses for flexible and part-time study. Oxford University Press is a University department with a vast online presence and a range of platforms that include scholarly journals and academic reference works; interactive online teaching and homework resources for teachers such as MyMaths and Oxford Learner’s Bookshelf; and the leading dictionary site oxforddictionaries.com

The MOOC enrolment to 'From Poverty to Prosperity: Understanding Economic Development' is open now. The course will last for six weeks, with learners expected to spend two to three hours a week on the course. After the offering period, the course will remain open and accessible to the public to view the contents (video lectures, case studies, readings) and to take the multiple choice questions but no interaction with peers or instructional staff will be possible.

The goal of the Digital Education Strategy is to ensure that in 2020 Oxford remains a premier institution for teaching, adopting the very best of teaching innovations that are made possible by digital technology.