AdelaideX’s global online learning program will be expanded under a new level of partnership with its partner edX, allowing for potentially credit-bearing sequences of intensive short courses.
From January 2017, the University of Adelaide became an edX Contributing Charter Member, making it one of a select few partners worldwide in the leading partnership group and one of only three Australian universities.
Contributing Charter membership opens the way for AdelaideX to develop more Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and enables the creation of new pathways from open online study into postgraduate courses. It also provides AdelaideX with a pathway to more deeply contribute to the strategic and operational direction at edX, such as sharing of development and research projects, and collaborative working with other universities worldwide.
“Since joining edX in June 2014, we have been establishing our presence in the fast-growing world of open online learning, producing nine MOOCs and attracting almost 400,000 enrolments in more than 200 countries around the world,” says Professor Pascale Quester, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic).
“Building on this success, we’ve taken the decision to expand our open online learning initiative, capitalising on opportunities that are now opening up to develop innovative, larger scale MOOC programs, credit-eligible open study pathways, and a number of other initiatives to help learners prepare for study and career.
“This will cement our position in the edX community and set the scene for us to generate more open online learning opportunities for global and on-campus students, through our AdelaideX courses and programs.”
The University is already planning to develop MicroMasters programs, a series of graduate level courses designed to advance careers or accelerate a Master’s degree, which provide a MOOC entry point for Masters study.
Globally, students will be able to complete a sequence of MOOCs in a MicroMasters program, earn a standalone MicroMasters credential, and then, upon admission, have the opportunity to earn credit for a specified Master’s program at Adelaide. The first such program is likely to be in the area of data science in the first half of 2017, with entry possible into a Master’s degree in 2018.
“It’s a very exciting concept and will enable us to design and offer high-quality postgraduate course provision in new and creative ways,” says Professor Quester.