We have witnessed tremendous interest in both mooc.org and the Open edX technology to create learning experiences for a wide-range of communities and learners. On our mooc.org website, for example, we’ve had more than 5,000 inquiries from schools, teachers, foundations and individuals who want to be part of the edX open-source learning movement.
A key component of the founding vision of mooc.org was to improve our platform by having more individuals build and use content. To learn how different individuals and institutions wished to use Open edX and online learning tools, we asked the worldwide community their preferences on mooc.org. We soon discovered that there were many different and significant ways these potential course builders could become part of the Open edX movement, and therefore we decided to expand our community to accommodate the wide-range of interests and contributors—everyone from a third grade math teacher who wants to share her arithmetic course, to a renowned institution that wants to utilize its world-class resources to develop science courses to share under their own brand name.
Specifically, edX is expanding its efforts in a phased manner to meet four distinct and significant needs of individuals and organizations: 1) offering courses on edx.org through an edX membership; 2) self-hosting of Open edX; 3) third-party white-label hosting; 4) offering individuals the opportunity to experiment with course development.
We expanded edx.org by broadening our membership to accommodate many of the organizations that want to offer courses on the edX platform. We were pleased to welcome these new members, such as Learning by Giving Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution and the Linux Foundation, and to offer membership opportunities to other high-caliber global organizations, universities, corporations, NGOs, nonprofits and other institutions interested in joining the edX community on edx.org.
Simultaneously, we expanded our work with many self-hosting organizations that wanted to adopt and leverage Open edX for a wide variety of purposes. These include universities, corporations, foundations, governments and nations, who adopt Open edX to develop their own MOOC portals. Our work with the Queen Rania Foundation in Jordan to develop Edraak and our partnership with the French Ministry of Higher Education on France Université Numérique (FUN) are examples of institutions and nations using Open edX to create MOOC portals for their individual learning communities. Our collaboration with Stanford represents a university adoption of Open edX.
We also work with organizations who “white label” our platform and host through a third party under their own brand. These include the World Economic Forum, who is working with edX to host Forum Academy. Many service providers, such as Open Craft, Extension Engine, EdCast and others who are part of the growing Open edX ecosystem, also provide hosting support to organizations. We are continuing to expand this ecosystem and look forward to working with additional potential service partners who are leaders in this space.
Finally, we are expanding into another space that includes anyone and everyone. This category includes everyone from experts who can offer specialty courses to individuals who may be new to online learning and want to experiment with course development. These courses will be hosted on mooc.org and available to anyone. We expect this portal to launch later this year.
Mooc.org remains a priority for edX. We learn something new every day from every new inquiry and innovation we receive from our growing group of members, collaborators and contributors. And this community is at the core of our vision–to create a space where we can all be learners and where we can all be teachers–as we continue to increase access to quality education for everyone around the world.
By Anant Agarwal, CEO, edX