Colleges will soon have free access to the edX platform

MOOC advocates applauded edX’s decision to make its source code available to the public.

Colleges and Universities on June 1 will have access to the source code for what has been dubbed the “Linux of learning” after not-for-profit educational enterprise edX teamed up with Stanford University in making available a host of open-source online learning tools.

edX, launched by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), announced April 3 that programmers worldwide would have no-charge access to the web-based learning platform in June, as Stanford agreed to integrate parts of its Class2Go platform into edX.

The source code will eventually be available at…Read More

Romney, at Harvard, merged two worlds

President Obama has a Harvard law degree. Former President George W. Bush has a Harvard M.B.A., The New York Times reports. Will the next president have both?

One of the most exclusive clubs in academe is a Harvard University dual-degree program allowing graduate students to attend its law and business schools simultaneously, cramming five years of education into four. On average, about 12 people per year have completed the program — the overachievers of the overachievers — including a striking number of big names in finance, industry, law and government.

The program is so small that it has drawn little attention outside rarefied circles, but that may change as its most famous graduate, Mitt Romney, campaigns for the White House, subjecting every phase of his life to scrutiny.…Read More

Harvard profs dropping final exams

Final exams are probably not anybody’s primary concern at the moment, but it is worth noting that the July-August edition of Harvard Magazine reports that many Harvard professors will no longer routinely require final exams, the Washington Post reports. It turns out that Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences voted on this policy a few months ago, according to the magazine article. The arts and sciences faculty–of which there are more than 1,000, including dozens of Nobel laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners–teach in Harvard College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Division of Continuing Education. For decades, professors who chose not to give a final exam were required to submit a form to opt out. Now, professors will have to file a specific request to give a final. The magazine said that Dean of Undergraduate Education Jay M. Harris is already predicting that Harvard will shorten the academic calendar by a day or two in response to the eased testing burden, but, in fact, final exams have been “going the way of the dodo” for years…

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