edX and Microsoft Office Mix join to enhance online learning

A new partnership between edX and Office Mix aims to help faculty easily create, edit, and share courses with a host of interactive features for students.

edx-microsoft-onlineAlthough most online higher education courses today are presented as mere PowerPoint lectures, Microsoft has joined forces with edX in the hopes that their Office Mix service can revolutionize online learning on the platform.

“Our belief is that democratization of online and blended learning is a really important goal that will enhance learning and the technology of online courses,” said Anoop Gupta, a Microsoft Distinguished Scientist who worked extensively on the partnership. “We want to empower educators across the world to create excellent courses.”

Above all, the partnership between edX and Office Mix is aimed around making blended and online courses more interactive for students while still being very easy for faculty to create and edit.

As the preeminent online portal for online courses and MOOCs, edX already boasted a host of partnerships with education giants including Harvard and MIT. However, most courses required professional production that was largely difficult to edit and hands-off for many professors.

But, by taking advantage of the Open edX initiative which invites developers to create innovative learning courseware for the platform, Office Mix developed an XBlock that allows educators to personally and affordably embed mix lectures directly into an edX course, says the company.

“The motivation and action for the Office Mix project was that we believe online and blended learning will be big, and we want to create tools that will be used to enable new scenarios for students,” said Gupta.

(Next Page: Learn about the unique functionality of courses created in Office Mix)