News Release: edX and Massachusetts Community Colleges Join in Gates-Funded Educational Initiative
First Blended MOOC Course slated for Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) and MassBay Community College
EdX, the world’s leading online-learning initiative founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), today announced an innovative blended massive open online course (MOOC) offering at Bunker Hill and MassBay Community Colleges, the first community colleges to work with edX to bring a new teaching model to the classroom. Through this public/private initiative, community colleges will benefit from edX’s platform, connecting students with leading MOOC professors from around the world.
“Our technology and innovative teaching methods have the potential to transform the way community college students learn, both in and out of the classroom,” said Anant Agarwal, president of edX. “Our work with Bunker Hill and MassBay will enable us to work with other state institutions throughout the country to provide excellent educational opportunities on an ever-tightening budget.”
The collaboration between these two innovative community colleges, both of which have a history of offering online and hybrid courses, and edX was made possible through a $1 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant is part of a $9 million investment to support breakthrough learning models in postsecondary education. EdX, Massachusetts and the Gates Foundation believe that investing in this initiative will pave the way for further innovations in online learning and on-campus improvement for these and other community colleges around the country.
“I thank the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and edX for understanding the importance of innovative thinking in order to better prepare our students for the jobs of the 21st century global economy,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “A stronger community college system fuels our economy by connecting well-prepared students with employers.”
Beginning in the spring 2013, Bunker Hill and MassBay Community Colleges will offer an adapted version of the MITx 6.00x Introduction to Computer Science and Programming course at their respective campuses. This unique learning experience will allow students to benefit from superior virtual courses, enhanced by in-class supporting materials and engaging breakouts. The collaboration aims to build upon edX and community college data-driven research to examine the advantages of a blended classroom model that utilizes edX’s MOOC content, consisting of innovative learning methodologies and game-like educational experiences.
“Community college professors are both teachers and mentors to our students. The blended classroom model allows our professors greater one-to-one contact with our students, allowing for greater course content mastery and application,” stated Dr. John O’Donnell, president of MassBay Community College.
According to BHCC President Mary L. Fifield, “The invitation to participate in edX comes on the heels of several highly successful classroom-based student success initiatives at our College that have increased student persistence by as much as 32 percent. The timing couldn’t be better.”
Through its open source platform, edX enhances teaching and learning by using research on how students learn and transformative technologies that facilitate effective teaching both on-campus and online. EdX’s ultimate goal is to provide access to life-changing knowledge for everyone around the world.
For more information or to sign up for a course, please visit www.edx.org.