jeudi 21 février 2013

Welcome to McGillX, the future MOOC of the McGill University

On the eve of the « Sommet sur l'enseignement supérieur », McGill University shows that it is seriously entering in the new era of MOOC (Massive Online Open Courses) by announcing today (February 21 2013) that it has joined the consortium EdX [1], [2], [3], under the name McGillX [4].

As mentioned in a previous blog post, the EdX platform promoted by a consortium formed by Harvard University, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and the University of Berkeley, was launched in May 2012 [5].

The main advantages of the EdX MOOC platform are firstly to be a platform strictly under institutional control and secondly to be a platform entirely based on open source software [6].

Thus, the universities, which participate in the consortium EdX, have full control on their MOOC platform both technically and economically, unrelated with private companies as with Coursera [7] or Udacity [8] which have their own goals and interests.

At first glance, EdX is a good choice, but is not a panacea. According to well informed sources, EdX requires a significant financial contribution to be part of the consortium, sort of Select Club or Old Boys' Club. Moreover, Coursera could be more open and its business model could be mostly compatible with the mission of universities. We should also check the consortiums from Europe or from the Francophonie which are emerging or eventually a « Consortium Québécois » that could rally the expertises of our universities and institutions such as Téluq, CRIM and RISQ.

After the launch of the initiative EdLib [9] by HEC Montréal, the pioneer of MOOC in Québec, now fully operational, then we can welcome the announcement of the McGill University which shows that its leaders have a vision for the future of their university at the Digital Age.

Hope that the initiative of McGill University, even if it looks a bit outsider, has the merit of putting MOOC on the agenda of the « Sommet sur l'enseignement supérieur » or at least in the hallway chats or informal schmoozing.

[3] [4]
[6] Darrow, B. (2012, May 2). MIT and Harvard say open-source edX can educate a billion people. GigaOM.

Le billet original en français

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