Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Washington Post Features

December 11, 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
Washington Post Features
  • Victimized by the 'marriage penalty'

    In a few short months, I'll pass the milestone that every little girl dreams of: the day she swears - before family and God, in sickness and in health, all in the name of love - that she's willing to pay a much higher tax rate.

    April 17, 2014

  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 17, 2014

  • Search teams will send unmanned sub to look for missing Malaysian airliner

    Teams searching for a missing Malaysian airliner are planning for the first time to send an unmanned submarine into the depths of the Indian Ocean to look for wreckage, an Australian official leading the multi-nation search said Monday.

    April 15, 2014

  • DayCareCosts.jpg Day care's cost can exceed college tuition in some states

    Most parents will deal with an even larger kid-related expense long before college, and it's a cost that very few of them are as prepared for: day care.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10 tips for surviving a severe allergy season

    My colleague Brady Dennis reported recently that the arrival of warmer weather will soon unleash a pollen tsunami in parts of the country where the winter has been especially long and cold. Here are some survival tips from Clifford W. Bassett, an allergy specialist and assistant clinical professor of medicine at the New York University School of Medicine.

    April 9, 2014

  • news_twitter.jpg Travelers fly on Air Twitter

    The enlightened age of social media has dawned over the airline industry, casting shadows over telephone call centers and on-site agents. Facebook and Twitter are racking up the friends and followers while the hold music plays on.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • To get quality care, it helps to be the right kind of patient

    I am a family physician. Sometimes I must step out of the comfort of my clinical role and into that of patient or family caregiver. Generally, these trips to the other side of the exam table inspire a fair amount of anxiety.

    April 8, 2014

  • Fast, cheap test can help save lives of many babies

    As Easley did more research into her daughter's death, she learned that a pilot program had started just months earlier at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Md. (Easley had delivered at a different hospital in the Washington area.) The program's goal was to screen every newborn with a simple pulse oximeter test that can help detect heart problems such as Veronica's, allowing doctors to respond.

    April 8, 2014

  • At many leading schools, football fails to make cut

    To my astonishment, 67 of the top 100 schools, ranked by participation in college-level tests, said they do not field a team, denoting a shift in American high school culture, at least in those schools that challenge their students most.

    April 7, 2014

  • pizza-300x216.jpg VIDEO: Pepperoni, extra cheese and...pot?

    A Vancouver pizzeria has added a unique item to its menu: Customers with a prescription can order pizza infused with marijuana.

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Business Marquee
College Sports
Pro Sports
Facebook