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Open Ed Maturing at MIT: OpenCourseWare and 15 and MITx at 3. The More It Stays the Same, The More It Changes


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Joseph Pickett and Dana Doyle
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Published in: Education
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Open Ed Maturing at MIT: OpenCourseWare and 15 and MITx at 3. The More It Stays the Same, The More It Changes

  1. 1. MIT Open Education OCW & MITx
  2. 2. OpenCourseWare (sharing) • 15 Years old • Comprehensive publication of openly-licensed materials from the entire MIT curriculum, both undergraduate and graduate • 2340 course sites, 50 Supplemental Resources, 990 courses archived in D-Space • Not online courses—no registration, no certificates • Distributed thru 350 mirror sites around the world, other channels (YouTube, iTunes, Internet Archive) • Voluntary faculty participation (~65%) • Mature publishing organization minimizes demands on faculty • Global movement (~280 universities in OCWC)
  3. 3. MITx (teaching) • 3 years old • Online courses for learners worldwide with assessment & certificates • Online materials available for on-campus courses • Interactive exercises, auto-graded problems & exams, online labs, progress data • Team supports faculty-led development projects • Internal platform for use by MIT residential courses • Research and experimentation on the science of learning • Grant process to fund faculty led course teams
  4. 4. 2001 OCW announced "OpenCourseWare looks counter-intuitive in a market driven world. It goes against the grain of current material values. But it really is consistent with what I believe is the best about MIT. It is innovative. It expresses our belief in the way education can be advanced – by constantly widening access to information and by inspiring others to participate," said MIT President Vest. By user:AngMoKio (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons
  5. 5. On a Steady Course 2001 Official OCW site launched 2004 OCW adopts CC license 2007 ”virtually all” MIT courses are represented on OCW—1,800 courses! 2011 OCW Scholar Courses Launched. OCW begins to examine quantity vs quality issue and how to keep the portfolio of courses up-to-date. Granville Redmond [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
  6. 6. 2011 MITx announced MIT President Hockfield called this “a transformative initiative for MIT and for online learning worldwide.”
  7. 7. 2012
  8. 8. Red skies at morn… March 2012 6.002x launched March 2012 High hopes for collaboration between OCW and MITx • Shared/joint services, • Common architectures • Shared tools Common licensing and IP clearance May 2012 Harvard/MIT announce edX Stig Nygaard
  9. 9. Rough Seas June 2012 Trying to get MITx and OCW better aligned to better serve MIT and the public • Revisiting original ideas • Not so easy to collaborate • Different services: • OCW publishes what happened on campus. • MITx creates new learning experiences. • MITx has much more labor-intensive production and a completely different platform. • IP policy is different — not to be CC. Shipping in Stormy Seas by Julius Porcellis 1610-1654 Oil on Canvas
  10. 10. Getting it done 2012 Leveraged much of the OCW team • video training and capture • IP clearance • project management • communications • technical support Instructors begin working with OCW and MITx simultaneously and in sequence. July 2012 edX website launched Stig Nygaard By National Maritime Museum from Greenwich, United Kingdom [No restrictions or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
  11. 11. Reorganization and Building Nov 2012 New organization launched: ODL OCW and MITx reporting into ODL Dec 2012 Planning for MITx staffing, space, and MITx Fellows program begins — OCW covers needs in the meantime. Jan 2013 Initial MITx hires including some people with OCW experience
  12. 12. Separate Ways Mar 2013 MITx gets moves to separate location 2013 OCW Educator Launched — sharing instructor reflections on teaching with the world 2013 Ramp-up of MITx efforts and team, figuring out working model
  13. 13. Not forgotten Fall 2013 Ongoing discussions about need for a Residential team focused on digital learning effectiveness at MIT, separate from production-oriented MITx on edX team and very different from OCW.
  14. 14. What? Jan 2014 OCW and MITx have been very separate. • Different buildings • No clear communication as to who is doing what • Both groups extremely busy producing course sites and online courses
  15. 15. Coming Together Mar 2014 MITx and OCW relocate into shared space into 11 Cambridge Center — MITx continues to find its path while revisiting OCW procedures for guidance. MITx donates video resources to OCW. 2015 Residential Program Manager hired, residential team built and Instructional Design team formed. By Easa Shamih (Flickr: Team Work) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
  16. 16. Looking to the future 2015 MITx spends more time on policy and procedure with much guidance from OCW staff. 2016 We begin to attempt to get out of the day-to-day tasks and consider the future of MIT Open Education, together. Buck
  17. 17. Big Picture We have reached over 203,000,000 people with more than 5000 MIT Participants. Regardless of our struggles that is something to be proud of. James Cridland
  18. 18. Parallels • Both organizations focused on volume of production in early phases to prove viability of the project to funders and to have enough experience from which to learn. • Both organizations reached a point where this emphasis on volume had to be reconsidered in an effort to provide the greatest value to users Lessons • Obvious areas for collaborations (especially video and IP) were revealed to be too different for joining forces on a sustained basis • MITx is still a young organization seeking to find an optimum path in a changing environment. • OCW must also re-assess its operations in a new landscape of online learning and technological change (mobile, interactivity)