Class2Go to merge with edX in open source online learning platform

April 2, 2013, 10:35 p.m.

University administrators have announced plans to merge Class2Go, Stanford’s online course platform, with edX, a nonprofit online learning enterprise founded by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), producing a joint open source online learning platform that will first be available in June.

The merger represents an emerging collaboration between the University and edX with the goal of developing a “massive free open source online learning platform for any university in the world,” according to a statement by University spokesperson Lisa Lapin.

Anant Agarwal, president of edX, expressed excitement about working with Stanford.

“It has been our vision to offer our platform as open source since edX’s founding by Harvard and MIT,” Agarwal told The Stanford Report. “We are now realizing that vision, and I am pleased to welcome Stanford University, one of the world’s leading institutions of higher education, to further this global open source solution.”

EdX, which was launched in fall 2012, currently hosts free online courses from Harvard, MIT and the University of California, Berkeley. The platform has announced plans to incorporate material from Wellesley, Georgetown and the University of Texas system in fall 2013, and will expand to feature international universities beginning in 2014.

On June 1, 2013, edX will become an open source platform, making its source code available to the public through the Platform Repository. Features from Class2Go, which has been an open source platform since Jan. 2013, will be integrated into the edX platform.

According to Vice Provost for Online Learning John Mitchell, Stanford’s Class2Go development team has been working with representatives from edX to ensure that the codes will be synchronized and the two platforms easily merged.

While administrators plan to focus future platform development on the new collaboration with edX, Stanford courses will still be offered on other platforms such as Coursera and iTunes U.

“We will continue to use multiple online learning platforms and determine which platform and approach best serves the educational goals put forward by our faculty and what best matches their interests,” Mitchell told The Stanford Report. “But we will focus our development efforts on a single, open source platform which makes the most efficient use of our time and resources.”

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