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MITx to start in 2012

Massachusetts Institute of Technology plans to award credentials to e-learners

education Updated: Dec 28, 2011 10:56 IST
HT Education Correspondent

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, known for its free courseware available to net users across the world for 10 years now, is taking a step forward in online learning. It has launched an online learning initiative, “internally” called MITx, which will allow students to earn a credential. With nearly 2100 free online courses, MIT’s OpenCourseWare has been used by more than 100 million people. The renowned US institution has released answers to a few frequently asked questions about MITx. Here are some:

When will MITx go live?
MIT plans to launch an experimental prototype version of MITx in the spring 2012 timeframe.

Will this platform offer MIT degrees?
No. MIT awards MIT degrees only to those admitted to the institute.

If credentials are awarded, will they be awarded by MIT?
As online learning and assessment evolve and improve, online learners who demonstrate mastery of subjects could earn a certificate of completion, but any such credential would not be issued under the name MIT. Rather, MIT plans to create a not-for-profit body within the institute that will offer certification for online learners of MIT coursework. That body will carry a distinct name to avoid confusion.

Who can take courses on MITx? Will there be an admission process?
As with OCW, the teaching materials on MITx will be available to anyone in the world for free, and in general, there will not be an admission process. However, credentials will be granted only to students who earn them by demonstrating mastery of the material of a subject.

In MITx, what will be free and what will cost money?
All of the teaching on the platform will be free of charge. Those who have the ability and motivation to demonstrate mastery of content can receive a credential for a modest fee.

What will it cost to get a credential for a given course?
MIT is in the process of determining a fee structure for individual courses and groups of courses. The aim is to make credentialing highly affordable.