Dartmouth joined the edX consortium, a group of the world’s leading educational institutions, in early 2014. The edX consortium, founded in 2012 by Harvard and MIT, is committed to offering, to the world, the highest quality courses through an innovative online platform. These courses are commonly known as MOOCs (massive open online courses).
Four MOOCs have been produced at Dartmouth so far: The first DartmouthX course, a six-week introduction to environmental science taught by Andy Friedland, was launched in February 2015 and re-ran in the summer of 2015. The second DartmouthX course, an introduction to structural engineering taught by Vicki May, opened in May 2015. A third course on Italian Opera with Steve Swayne began in October 2015 and the fourth course about the literature of the American Renaissance, taught by Don Pease and Jed Dobson, launched in February 2016. All DartmouthX courses are open to the world – anyone with an adequate Internet connection is able to sign up and take a DartmouthX course.
The desire to bring digital innovation back to residential Dartmouth courses was central to Dartmouth’s decision to join edX. For the faculty teaching DartmouthX courses, developing and teaching these courses is an opportunity to redesign their materials and their approach to teaching, to experiment and try new things, and to develop new capabilities that can be applied to their Dartmouth classes. We hope to learn much about our teaching methods and teaching materials by opening them up to a “massive” cohort of learners, who will provide feedback and data.
Each DartmouthX course is being developed by a course team. The faculty member works very closely with an Instructional Designer from the Educational Technologies group, who is familiar with the edX platform, and provides expertise on learning design and assessments. A media production specialist shoots and produces video and similar learning objects. Librarian expertise is needed to cover questions of copyright and open access. Lastly, we are also involving advanced Dartmouth students as TAs and general assistants. With the exception of student TAs, course team members are working on edX courses in addition to their regular jobs at Dartmouth. You can follow the excitement and enthusiasm of the DartmouthX course team at their blog.
Last Updated: 3/31/16