The prototype MITx course opened on this month with over 100,000 students enrolled. Now its creator and tutor, Professor Anant Agarwal has been appointed the director of MIT's Open Learning Enterprise.
MIT's latest initiative in online learning, MITx, was announced in December 2011 and its first, "experimental", course, 6.002x - Circuits and Electronics, is on-line adaption of 6.002, MIT's undergraduate analog design course. This 18-week course is designed as a first course in an undergraduate electrical engineering (EE), or electrical engineering and computer science (EECS) curriculum and is a free online course with videos interspersed with quizzes, interactive labs, weekly homework and two exams.
Now Professor Anant Agarwal, currently director of CSAIL, MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory has been appointed as director of a new unit given the working title "Open Learning Enterprise". This newly established organisation is expected to develop "a robust, open-source technology platform for interactive, pedagogically effective online learning, and working with MIT faculty to create content to be hosted on the platform."
Together with Gerald Sussman, professor of Electrical Engineering and Research Scientist Piotr Mitros, Anant Agarwal is currently presenting 6.002x - Circuits and Electronics to tens of thousands of students - there were over 100,000 enrollments but you have to allow for multiple sign-ups and people just clicking around.
Agarwal's team has also been responsible for the prototype interface which is being tested in the current course. The idea is that now only will the MITx platform be able to deliver course material to students worldwide but also operate as an an open-source, scalable software infrastructure available to other educational institutions.