Stanford to Join Harvard, MIT in Developing Nonprofit Computer System for Free Online Courses
Stanford University announced Wednesday that it is joining forces with Harvard and MIT on developing a computer system that allows colleges to offer free online courses, a collaboration that school officials said would benefit both educators and students around the globe.
Stanford already has its own fledgling platform for delivering so-called massive open online courses, or MOOCS. But the university has decided to suspend work on it in favor of the software developed by the two East Coast universities, called edX, Vice President John Mitchell said.
Stanford still plans to offer some of its courses through Coursera, a commercial Internet course provider founded by two Stanford professors. But with the demand for online learning increasing rapidly, it makes sense for academic institutions to team up instead of compete, Mitchell said.
“Together, I think we will have a chance to produce a much better platform than each of us would be able to do individually,” he said, adding that the software that emerges from the alliance has the potential to become the “Linux of online learning.”