HarvardX to study how to personalize MOOCs

October 18, 2013

HarvardX, Harvard University’s open, online courses offered through edX, has received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to study how MOOCs might be made more personalized for individuals in online courses. Led by HarvardX Research Fellow Sergiy Nesterko and startup Project Lever founder Svetlana I. Dotsenko, the study will examine data from students enrolled in 17 HarvardX classes, including country of origin, education level, gender, age, usage of the course materials, and individuals’ learning outcomes and goals. “We want to...track how those goals manifest themselves in the students’ usage of courses, and ideally would see how those learning goals change over time and come up with a predictive system or a meaningful clustering of students,” says Nesterko. Earlier this year, a group of Harvard arts and science professors asked their dean for formal oversight of massive open online courses offered by Harvard through edX, citing concerns about the program’s cost and consequences. The Harvard Crimson