MITx courses are massive open online courses (MOOCs) led by MIT faculty and delivered on the edX platform to learners all over the world at scale. The MITx team provides faculty and course teams with tools, training, and best practices to ensure an efficient and successful process.
What does a typical MITx course look like?
Take a look at a course for free by visiting our catalog, creating an edX and/or MITx Online account, and enrolling in any course as an auditor for free. We strongly encourage anyone interested in MOOCs to explore a few sample courses. A typical course includes video content, text or readings, discussion forums, and interactive assignments to assess learning. The types of video styles and assessments vary widely depending on the topic, approach, and goals of the instructor. Our job at MITx is to help you figure out the best approach for your subject, and help you implement that vision.
Interested in working with MITx? What are the next steps?
First, get in touch with the MITx team! Faculty are encouraged to reach out to MITx_OL@mit.edu if they'd like to discuss an idea for an MITx course. Our staff is available throughout the year to consult with faculty or other departmental staff who are interested in doing a digital learning project. Even if they are not sure if the project is a MOOC but just have an idea, we’re happy to help. We will walk faculty through the various options for executing projects, and explain our support models, funding, and how to submit a proposal. Even if one doesn't end up creating a MOOC, we can refer them to other Open Learning groups that may be a better fit for their idea.
The faculty member is ready to move forward with a project. What now?
If they require funding for the course or project, faculty are required to submit a proposal to the MITx Grant Program. We typically accept proposals twice per year, with our Faculty Advisory Committee serving as reviewers. We offer two types of grants – Modules Grants and Express Explorations. Please visit our Grant Program page for all of the details, and review previously funded projects. If a faculty member does not need funding from MITx, they should contact MITx_OL@mit.edu for more information. Regardless of funding status, MITx must approve all courses that will go on the edX or MITx Online platforms, but projects that do not need funding may not need to go through the Grant Program.
What if a faculty member is interested in something bigger than a MOOC, like a MicroMasters program?
MITx currently offers MicroMasters programs and X-Series. MicroMasters programs are a series of master’s-level courses that result in a credential that can be applied to accelerate a graduate degree program at MIT or a partner institution. X-Series are a series of courses that lead to deep understanding in one topic area. Should a faculty member be interested in either of these options, they should please contact MITx_OL@mit.edu.
A grant was approved! How do faculty members get started from here?
Once a proposal has been approved, our team will help to make the course a reality. MITx Grant funding generally includes support from our team as well as funds to help faculty hire their own staff, who are ultimately responsible for creating the final product. Faculty typically hire postdocs or graduate students in their area of expertise to serve as course coordinators, authors, and moderators. With support, training, and consultation from the MITx team, faculty will learn how to create videos, work with the edX platform, and turn curriculum and teaching into a first-rate digital learning experience.
Once the course is ready, what happens next?
Our team helps faculty decide on a launch date and create materials to open up the course to the world. Once posted to edX, learners from across the globe will have access to the course's content. The MITx team will train faculty and online teaching assistants on the best practices for facilitating and operating the live course, and of course, help along the way as issues arise. Faculty will then have the chance to interact with these global learners, and directly see the impact teaching can make.
What happens after the course ends?
When the course ends, the MITx team assists in archiving the course and then developing a rerun plan and schedule for future offerings. Most faculty choose to rerun their course at some interval (most often annually) once it is initially created. MITx offers continuing operational support for reruns, as well as moderate funding for minor changes and course moderators.
Still have more questions about MOOCs? Get in touch with us at MITx_OL@mit.edu.