University and UT System Join EdX Online Learning Initiative

Consortium Founded by Harvard and MIT Seeks New Ways to Transmit Knowledge

UT Dallas President David E. Daniel joined with UT System colleagues in announcing a joint venture between the edX online nonprofit learning initiative and the UT System.

EdX is a not-for-profit enterprise founded by Harvard University and MIT that develops learning designed for interactive study via the Web.

EdX, a non-profit learning initiative started by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, creates online learning designed for interactive, web-based study. The UT System Board of Regents approved the partnership Monday morning.

“At UT Dallas, our highest value is quality in education and research,” Daniel said. “This partnership represents a unique opportunity to help shape the educational frontier and showcase our exceptional faculty members.”

Daniel added that UT Dallas would be researching new ways that students could best benefit from the new partnership by engaging faculty and working with edX in the process.

“We are eager to get to work in crafting courses for edX and to explore ways that students can benefit from this new development,” Daniel said. “We expect to see stronger programs and improved educational outcomes as a result.”

At the UT System news conference, President David E. Daniel discusses how universities will explore ways to help students with the edX arrangement.

The UT System, which includes nine academic campuses and six health institutions, will provide online interactive education with a goal toward enhancing teaching and learning as part of the partnership.

While work remains to be done to determine the best opportunities for UT Dallas to contribute, Daniel said, there are promising opportunities in areas unique to UT Dallas, including Arts and Technology and Telecommunications Engineering.

“New technologies are positively impacting how course content is delivered,” said UT System Chancellor Dr. Francisco Cigarroa during Monday’s announcement. “The UT System aspires to be an active and national leader in this important movement. We are always focused on enhancing excellence and student success.”

The University of Texas System plans to offer at least four courses on edX within the next year and also plans to offer courses through edX that will allow students to earn college credits toward a degree. In 2011, the Board of Regents allocated $50 million to establish the Institute for Transformational Learning to expand access to educational programs, enhance learning, reduce costs and promote a culture of innovation.

“Our goal through our partnership with edX is to better meet the learning needs of a wide range of students, raise graduation rates and cut the cost of higher education, all while maintaining our commitment to education of the highest quality,” said Gene Powell, chairman of the UT System Board of Regents.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].