MIT offers an online electrical engineering class,120,000 students sign up

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    May 04, 2012 3:30 PM GMT
    You know... if they can do this for electrical engineering... think of the peril humanities courses are in...

    http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/mitx-student-responses-to-prototype-course-0427.html

    What’s it like taking a course with 120,000 other students?

    That is one of the questions raised this spring by the debut of MITx, the Institute’s new online educational initiative. The first offering — a course dubbed 6.002x, or “Circuits and Electronics” — is running from March 5 through June 8, modeled after one of the introductory courses taught in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS).

    Some people taking 6.002x are students at other universities who are using the course to supplement their own educations; others are professionals whose long-running interest in the subject has been fired anew by the course. MIT News recently canvassed students from around the world who are enrolled in 6.002x to see what their experience has been like — so far, at any rate.


    Myriam Nonaka, an electrical engineering student at the Universidad Tecnológica Nacional in Buenos Aires, Argentina, finds 6.002x to be “very entertaining,” and singles out the course’s online discussion forum as a place “where you can share and learn.” Indeed, the forum, where students discuss the course and offer assistance to each other, is something that almost all MITx participants cite as a defining feature of the experience.

    For Gerardo Muñoz Coronel, an electrical engineering student from Querétaro, Mexico, it’s “exciting … to develop new skills with the support of a virtual-campus community.” Since starting the course, he has interacted in the forum with “nice online classmates” from Australia, Colombia, England, India and Kenya, among other places.

    Many of those taking 6.002x already have degrees, and are using the course to sharpen skills for personal or professional reasons. Brian Ho, the owner of a software-development company in Honolulu who has a long-running interest in robotics, has an electrical engineering degree and is using the course to “refresh” his knowledge of the subject.

    “We are learning to think intuitively when approaching electrical engineering — an intuition I didn’t have before,” Ho explains. As far as the discussion forums go, he adds, “I equally enjoy helping other students … in the process of helping others, you are actually helping yourself because in order to explain a concept perfectly you really need to understand the subject.”


    related: http://bostonherald.com/business/technology/general/view.bg?articleid=1061128740&pos=breaking

    Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced a new transformational partnership in online education today called EdX, which the two institutions will collaborate on to enhance campus-based teaching and learning and build an online learning global community.

    EdX, a technological platform recently established by MITx, builds on both universities’ experience in offering online instructional content. EdX was designed to offer online versions of MIT courses featuring video lesson segments, embedded quizzes, online laboratories and immediate feedback.

    Certificates of mastery will be available for those motivated and able to demonstrate their knowledge of the course material, both schools said.
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    May 04, 2012 4:33 PM GMT
    MIT and Harvard have had a cooperative relationship for years, allowing students at one school to cross-register and take courses for credit at the other. (non sequitur - Student in line at the express checkout in a Cambridge market with a basketful of items. People are grumbling. Someone said either he goes to Harvard and can't count or Tech and can't read.)
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    May 18, 2012 6:03 AM GMT
    Related - This could ultimately signal a blow to the many second rate institutions out there - if MIT can figure out a good model of how to bridge the gap between knowledge delivery and certification, it will be a game changer:

    "MIT Names Its Provost, Who Led Online-Education Efforts, as New President"
    http://chronicle.com/article/MIT-Names-Its-Provost-Who-Led/131896/

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Wednesday filled its top leadership position with one of its own. L. Rafael Reif, the university's provost and an MIT faculty member for 32 years, will assume the presidency on July 2, officials announced.

    Mr. Reif, 61, will succeed Susan Hockfield, who announced in February that she would step down after seven years as the university's first female president.

    Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Mr. Reif (pronounced "rife") emphasized his immigrant story. Born to a poor family in Venezuela, Mr. Reif spoke little English when he arrived at Stanford University as a graduate student in 1974. He earned his master's degree and Ph.D. in electrical engineering at Stanford and joined MIT's largest department, electrical engineering, in 1980.
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    May 18, 2012 6:25 AM GMT
    My Vice Chancellor bought this example up the other week. It definitely has implications for how higher education is thought of and how we who work in it deliver it. What these implications are, however, are not entirely clear. My university is pushing for us all to redevelop out units into cloud learning, so we can take advantage of other resources out there (like iTunesU and MITx etc). On the whole though I think it's great that people can access content from higher ed institutions.
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    May 18, 2012 6:58 AM GMT
    riddler78 saidRelated - This could ultimately signal a blow to the many second rate institutions out there - if MIT can figure out a good model of how to bridge the gap between knowledge delivery and certification, it will be a game changer:


    No kidding. If a college with a first-rate name like MIT can offer classes that 120,000 students can get into, then why the fuck am I paying $20k/year total for my university that has a reputation of a party school?
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    May 18, 2012 7:05 AM GMT
    Trollileo said
    Bullwinklemoos said
    riddler78 saidRelated - This could ultimately signal a blow to the many second rate institutions out there - if MIT can figure out a good model of how to bridge the gap between knowledge delivery and certification, it will be a game changer:
    No kidding. If a college with a first-rate name like MIT can offer classes that 120,000 students can get into, then why the fuck am I paying $20k/year total for my university that has a reputation of a party school?
    I do it, because I kind of need to be in class for rehearsals. That's the only reason, though.
    My point is that I'm really REALLY nervous to complete college here as an undergrad because this could either blow up in my face because MIT is a very respected name in engineering, or this could work in my favor and level out the playing field since MIT would create a gold standard. Assuming that they release online classes in my field of Civil Engineering.
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    May 18, 2012 7:13 AM GMT
    Bullwinklemoos said
    riddler78 saidRelated - This could ultimately signal a blow to the many second rate institutions out there - if MIT can figure out a good model of how to bridge the gap between knowledge delivery and certification, it will be a game changer:


    No kidding. If a college with a first-rate name like MIT can offer classes that 120,000 students can get into, then why the fuck am I paying $20k/year total for my university that has a reputation of a party school?


    Yeah but you graduate with your degree - the MITx people wont. Sure, they can enroll to listen to access course material and discuss with each other, but they don't *get* anything for it (I use the *get* because they do get knowledge, but not a testamur).
  • metta

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    May 18, 2012 7:31 AM GMT
    I do wonder if this will affect other schools. I have a neighbor who's child is gong to harvey mudd next year. That school is $61k/yr, not including books or inflation. So they are looking at over $240k over the 4 years and that is just to get a Bachelor's degree.They told me that Harvey Mudd is the top rated for what he is going into.
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    May 18, 2012 12:01 PM GMT
    metta8 saidI do wonder if this will affect other schools. I have a neighbor who's child is gong to harvey mudd next year. That school is $61k/yr, not including books or inflation. So they are looking at over $240k over the 4 years and that is just to get a Bachelor's degree.They told me that Harvey Mudd is the top rated for what he is going into.


    What is he going into?

    I literally can't think of a single degree field in this economy where $240k is worth it... Maybe medicine?
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    May 18, 2012 2:36 PM GMT
    dash_8 said
    Bullwinklemoos said
    riddler78 saidRelated - This could ultimately signal a blow to the many second rate institutions out there - if MIT can figure out a good model of how to bridge the gap between knowledge delivery and certification, it will be a game changer:


    No kidding. If a college with a first-rate name like MIT can offer classes that 120,000 students can get into, then why the fuck am I paying $20k/year total for my university that has a reputation of a party school?


    Yeah but you graduate with your degree - the MITx people wont. Sure, they can enroll to listen to access course material and discuss with each other, but they don't *get* anything for it (I use the *get* because they do get knowledge, but not a testamur).


    Well, that's the key - figuring out the certification part of it. Certifications matter only insofar as employers are able to trust that the person carrying the certificate has the requisite knowledge. When (not if) schools like MIT/Harvard/Stanford figure out how to certify participants/students that they have obtained their knowledge that's what will be the game changer.

    For instance, one idea that I've seen toyed with is if you launch these courses for free but charge for certification/examinations. MITx is planning to offer certification in this way.

    http://tech.mit.edu/V131/N59/mitx.html

    It is not that far out of the realm of possibility that they will ultimately offer entire degrees.
  • metta

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    May 18, 2012 3:50 PM GMT
    Larkin said
    metta8 saidI do wonder if this will affect other schools. I have a neighbor who's child is gong to harvey mudd next year. That school is $61k/yr, not including books or inflation. So they are looking at over $240k over the 4 years and that is just to get a Bachelor's degree.They told me that Harvey Mudd is the top rated for what he is going into.


    What is he going into?

    I literally can't think of a single degree field in this economy where $240k is worth it... Maybe medicine?


    I think that it is electrical engineering. I'm sure that his family has already researched this thoroughly. Over time, it will probably pay off for him.
  • metta

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    May 18, 2012 7:35 PM GMT
    I'm sure that he will do well in what ever he ends up doing. A big reason to go to the top school is networking.
  • metta

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    May 18, 2012 7:50 PM GMT
    ^
    that's great...it is important to do that in any school you go to. I went to a State university. I"m not trying to down any other schools.
  • metta

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    May 18, 2012 8:41 PM GMT
    ^
    many reasons: reputation, ratings, much smaller classes (something like 6 to 15 students in a class), individual attention, some of the top rated professors in the World, what is considered premium networking, ideal college experience, etc. I have even heard that it is common for professors to invite a student to dinner where they can discuss how things are going, suggestions for improvement, recommended directions to take, etc. And the 5 C campuses are beautiful. icon_smile.gif

    I went to a cousins graduation at one of them last weekend: Scripps. The top schools produce more of the top students (when based on ratios of number of students) in the World than anywhere else.
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    May 18, 2012 9:07 PM GMT
    Leave it to Shannen Doherty (sp?...lol) to be on the cutting edge of trends in edumacation whether jet-setting to exotic locales or directing the latest Hollywood blockbuster.....*gasp*......




    But seriously, something's got to give......the brick and mortar shit is not cutting it anymore....the same as in retail.