Saturday, September 8, 2012

Harvard-MIT online school to offer supervised final exams

Presidents of Harvard (left) and MIT announcing EdX in May
EdX, the online school founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will offer proctored final exams to allow students to use their results for credentials and job applications.
Online learners who want to provide potential employers with independently validated certificates will be able to take exams at more than 450 test sites worldwide run by Pearson VUE, a unit of London-based education publisher Pearson Plc (PSON), EdX said in an e-mailed statement.
Harvard and MIT, both based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, announced the formation of EdX on May 2. The nonprofit venture, funded with $30 million from each university, provides courses from those schools and the University of California, Berkeley. Proctored tests means job-seekers can present their results to potential employers, Anant Agarwal, an MIT professor who is president of EdX, said in the statement.
“This option enhances the value of our courses in the real world,” Agarwal said. It “is a natural evolution of EdX’s core philosophy of transforming lives through education.”
Test takers will be charged “a modest fee,” according to the statement. Courses are free, according to the EdX website. The first proctored test will be offered in the fall.
EdX’s class on circuits and electronics, taught by Agarwal and others, started yesterday, according to the website. Courses for chemistry, computer programming and public health will begin later this month and in October.

Sources: Business Week
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