ANU has become the first Australian university to become a part of edX, and online education initiative founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Our national university was one of five new partners announced by edX to partake in what they are calling an “online education revolution”.
“It is very exciting to be part of edX, to ensure that ANU programs, the great staff we have and the innovative education we offer is seen by thousands of people around the world,” he said.
Launched in April last year, edX is a massive online open course platform that offers university level courses in a variety of disciplines for no charge. ANU has committed two new courses to the platform. Astrophysics taught by Nobel Prize winner Professor Schmidt and his RSAA colleague Dr Paul Francis, and Engaging India, taught by Dr McComas Taylor and Dr Peter Friedlander from the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.
“ANU prides itself on the generation of new knowledge, and edX provides the University with the platform to engage with alumni, current and future students, and the globe in innovation.”
E-learning is becoming quite an attractive replacement for a traditional university education, however it has drawn a lot of criticism in a great many areas. There are concerns over everything from quality standards to the removal of face to face contact from the learning experience. However it’s also difficult to deny that providing free online access to lecturers like Professor Brian P. Shmidt isn’t a worthwhile cause.