What is edX?

edX is a not-for-profit online education venture founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that is committed to making high-quality educational experiences more widely available. By joining edX, The University of Queensland (UQ) has partnered with a consortium of institutions including the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Texas System, Georgetown University, McGill University, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, University of Toronto and Australian National University.

What is UQx?

UQx is a project tasked with enhancing UQ teaching and learning experiences for UQ students through better designed and implemented online learning interactions, promoting scholarly research on teaching and learning and projecting the UQ brand worldwide.  UQx accomplishes these goals by developing online courses (MOOCs) and learning experiences (SPOCs) through edX.

Why has UQ joined edX?

edX provides UQ with an opportunity to collaborate with top research institutions that are seeking to enhance their on-campus learning by utilising the tools and technologies being created for the edX platform. It also provides the opportunity to expand UQ's reach to learners around the globe. UQ continues to explore best practices in teaching and learning through technology-enabled methods. Joining edX will deepen our understanding in this space, providing access to emerging technologies, rich sources of data and collaborative insights from edX consortium members. edX is a not-for-profit venture that is aligned with UQ's advocacy of open scholarship. The rapid developments in online learning are enabling millions of learners around the world to participate in these new forms of tertiary education. Joining this effort allows UQ to contribute to this activity and ensure the needs of our community are met.

Why now?

With the quality of the edx team, it’s member institutions and aspirations similar to our own, UQ was pleased to accept the invitation to join the edx consortium. The Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation (ITaLI), together with the Office of Undergraduate Education, UQ faculties, the Library and Information Technology Services, have been working toward a Strategic Blueprint for technology-enabled learning (TEL) that integrates technology into courses at UQ. The opportunity to engage in this effort in collaboration with other edX member institutions is timely and will help catalyse our efforts to leverage technology in teaching. Joining this rapidly evolving higher education movement now will also enable us to make lasting and guiding contributions to this effort.

What is a MOOC?

A MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course that is offered free and attracts participation from hundreds of thousands of learners around the world.  Our MOOCs follow learning design sequences that pair short, high quality videos with learner centred activities to assess understanding and encourage peer-to-peer engagement.  Our MOOCS are paced, instructor-led courses that become open learning resources once the course has finished.

What is a SPOC?

A SPOC is a Small Private Online Course using the MOOC design paradigm.  These courses or portions of courses are not made public. Instead, these learning experiences are open to a smaller audience, such as UQ students enrolled in for-credit campus courses, alumni, professional associations or a limited number of individuals whose enrolment meets a particular set of criteria.

When do UQx courses start?

UQx course development is ongoing with new courses being released and existing courses being re-run regularly. Some courses are available on an ongoing basis and students can commence and complete them at any time. Others are available as archived courses between runs where the content is accessible but not the assessment for certificates.

What courses does UQx offer?

See the list of UQX courses at edx.org.

What certificates are available for UQx courses and what is the cost?

  • Honour Code Certificate: You may enrol to audit UQx courses for free. If your work is satisfactory and you abide by the Honor Code, you'll receive a personalized Honor Code Certificate to showcase your achievement.
  • Verified Certificate: All UQx courses will also offer the option of a Verified certificate. These certificates require the use of an identity verification service and there is a cost associated wth providing this service.

How does UQ’s partnership with edX benefit UQ students?

A difference between the edX initiative and many of the other massive online course projects is the benefit it offers the UQ community to enhance and enrich traditional campus-based education. edX is exploring the possibilities of thoughtfully designed online educational tools to leverage and complement the face-to-face learning experience, transforming the way students interact with material and allowing more class time to engage in rich discussion. By participating in edX, the UQ community gains access to new tools and technologies that will support innovation among our academic staff and enrich the ways our students interact with course material, their instructors and each other in class discussion.

Who can develop a MOOC or SPOC?

UQx is developing courses in a range of disciplines illustrating the diversity of UQ's teaching and research. UQx courses address learners from pre-university students to alumni. These courses extend UQ's internationally recognised strengths and offer unique or valuable research opportunities. UQx researchers will study the data generated to better understand online and blended learning processes.

UQx is currently running a pilot program for SPOC development.  The current group of teams developing SPOCs are focusing on content that can be used for blended learning/flipped classroom experiences.

UQx is looking for MOOC and SPOC teams of academics who are collaborative, energetic, and able to approach learning in a creative way, and up for the challenge of developing a course.

What should a MOOC or SPOC course proposal entail?

Your course proposal should provide:

  • course purpose
  • course description
  • target audience/s
  • scope
  • required resources
  • fit with current edX course catalogue

What is the process for developing a MOOC or a SPOC?

Contact UQx to discuss your course proposal.  Once your proposal has been accepted, the UQx team will work with you to begin the design process that includes a series of workshops with other teams to brainstorm and design each element of the course.  The UQx team is equipped not only to help you develop the learning sequences for your course, but will also provide support related to media production, animation, data collection and tool development.  The process can be very intensive depending on the length of the course, technical needs and amount of content to be produced.

Why should I develop a MOOC or a SPOC?

There are many benefits to MOOC and SPOC development.  In addition to the creation of resources for teaching that can be used long after the course has finished, your course can be used to enhance your own research and the research of UQ.  This process also gives you the opportubity to rethink and revamp your pedagogical approach to your course content as you develop new tools for your courses.  In turn, this will enhance the UQ student experience by extending their classroom beyond our sandstone walls.

In the case of a MOOC, there is an additional opportunity to reach a global audience, collaborate with other inspired academics around the world, and enhance your international professional reputation.

For additional info see the edX FAQ