I’m not sure where this has come from, but most of the discussion about edX on the webs is discussing how it’s going to take over residential education. How you don’t need a college education anymore because edX is free.
Perhaps the misconception comes from the poorly titled nytimes article. The article gets things right, but the title is misleading.
edX is advertising itself as the biggest thing since white bread, but what are they actually saying about their service?
MITx and Harvardx courses will not be offered for credit at either university.
… such certificates would not be issued under the name of Harvard or MIT.
And that’s really the big deal, that’s supposedly the big step forward from opencourseware. But it doesn’t exist. So I guess the point is to market the edX name so its certificates can someday have perceived value, or maybe that policy will be changed; but for now, based on what they have released, people seem to be ill-informed.
In contrast, Coursera links the name of the providing university to the cert. But the cert is available only through Coursera and will be released upon user request similarly to the way a university will release records to an inquiring employer. Maybe edX will adopt the same methodology, only time will tell as edX is too immature to intelligently speculate over currently. There’s some mitx software that was probably not written with open source in mind and 3 guys in a dark room somewhere feverishly trying to produce something that doesn’t embarrass the Cambridge community before fall. I’m confident they’ll come out with something nice, the problem is Coursera has a head start, a larger staff, possibly less politicking (grass is greener), and they already have a very nice feel to their product.
edX presents a wonderful opportunity to find a solution for the quandary that has been plaguing the educational community for a while. i.e. how to best leverage the webs for education. Education online has been clumsy at best, and this is another attempt to capture what works best. That’s what I’m excited about, the research of the successes and failures of these online classes. And to get that research, maybe it’s best for people to have an overreaching idea of what edX is so more people are interested.. so on second thought, nevermind.