EdTech

(Interview) edX with Nancy Moss, Director of Communications

Nancy MossAccording to their website, “EdX is a not-for-profit enterprise of its founding partners Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that features learning designed specifically for interactive study via the web.”

Online learning exists for a long time. But now, it is about to enter a new era. MOOCs are a part of the next generation of online learning, a sort of Online Learning 2.0.

Nancy Moss, edX Director of Communications, recently answered some questions about this new model for online learning:

What is the next step for edX?

edX is going to double the number of courses we offer and increase the variety of subjects. We expect to continue to work with our university partners to develop next-generation learning tools and technologies to improve education both on-campus and online.

What is edX Code?

It is an open source platform that was created on June, 1st. This project makes available to anyone the computer language of edX. Then, anyone can use the code and contribute to it.

What is your business model?

EdX is a non-for-profit company which means that it only makes money to be sustainable and that the only financial goal is cost recovery.

The business model is built around services. The revenue derives from different sources such as certificates or licenses. edX also provides many companies and institutions with a specific version of the edX platform made especially to train their employees.

What are the big trends curently on the EdTechs market?

We are heading towards more and more individualized learning. EdX is working on that. The courses will adapt to the learner and specific suggestions will be made to everyone about what classes he should take, etc.

Are the traditional universities going to disappear?

No, they are just going to change. The future of education is blended learning. The way of teaching will be different and teachers will have more tools. Currently, teachers have limited information about their students and about the efficiency of their methods. Technology will help capture and use much more data. All those data will help the teachers to improve rapidly their way of teaching.

What are the differences with the competitors?

  • edX has an open source platform
  • edX is a non-for-profit company
  • edX is research-oriented and put an emphasis on assessment and bringing our learnings about how students learn back onto campuses.

Are thre opportunities for new startups in the sector?

Plenty of opportunities! A whole universe of companies is going to appear around the open source edX platform.

What do you think of universities such as Oxford that are still suspicious about MOOCs?

The most important for a university is to have a discussion about how to improve education and to work on it. Adopting or refusing MOOCs is secondary since MOOCs are just a tool among others to improve education.

How do you choose your partners?

The partners are chosen according to their rankings, to their location but also and that’s an important point, according to their research side. edX highly value partners that share the same interests regarding the improvement of education through research and technological tools.

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