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Half a million students enroll in Harvard edX courses

Posted by Your Town  August 26, 2013 05:13 PM

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The total number of students enrolled in Harvard courses on edX, the on-line educational platform, has exceeded 500,000, according to the university.

The total enrollments - past, present, and future offerings - for HarvardX courses is more than half a million students, the university said in a statement. Harvard has offered 17 classes -- the most courses offered by one school on the edX platform; and the university is responsible for nearly one-third of total enrollments to date.

Michael Patrick Rutter, a spokesman for HarvardX, said in an e-mailed statement that “the numbers are both a reflection of the popularity of Harvard's courses as well as the growing number of courses that we are offering.”

In 2012, Harvard University and MIT launched edX, a not-for-profit initiative that provides online classes at no cost. The platform offers massive open online courses, or MOOCs, free classes that combine online materials with quizzes and even assigned essays. A total of 28 colleges and universities provide classes through edX.

The Harvard course "Introduction to Computer Programming," has enrolled almost 160,000 students, with the course "Justice" at nearly 70,000 students.

"We celebrate HarvardX's benchmark achievement of a half million enrollments,” edX said in an e-mailed statement. It is a testament to the hard work and creativity of the Harvard faculty and staff. With 1.2 million people on the edX platform, we and the xConsortium partners are very pleased with the public's embrace of our courses and look forward to continued growth as we add new courses through the coming months and years."

Katherine Landergan can be reached at klandergan@globe.com. For campus news updates, follow her on Twitter @klandergan.

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