For Anant Agarwal, MITx, the Institute’s new online-learning initiative, isn’t just a means of democratizing education.
A decade ago, MIT broke ground with its OpenCourseWare initiative, which made MIT course materials, such as syllabi and lecture notes, publicly accessible. But over the last five years, MIT Provost L. Rafael Reif has led an effort to move the complete MIT classroom experience online, with video lectures, homework assignments, lab work — and a grade at the end.
The development of such online-learning tools will be crucial to MITx’s expansion. “How do you put a chemistry lab online?” Agarwal asks. “We’re just getting started here. Figuring out how to tailor the platform for MIT’s many disciplines will require collaboration across all our schools.”
MITx is not just a tool for democratizing education; it’s also a tool for education research. “I want to disrupt how education is done,” Agarwal says — not just online but on campus as well.