Dartmouth Joins edX

Dartmouth College made headlines late last week after it joined the band wagon and became a member of edX, an online learning platform aimed at providing massive open online courses (MOOCs) free of charge to anyone with internet access and a will to learn. Dartmouth thus joins other peer schools in the United States, such as Harvard and MIT, and even some prestigious foreign institutions, such as China’s Tsinghua University and India’s Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, in joining the edX movement.

The College has repeatedly strove for the sharing and enhancement of education and knowledge broadly, an endeavor which most recently manifested in President Hanlon’s rejection of a call to boycott Israeli academic institutions. While we at The Dartmouth Review agree with the core principles behind Dartmouth joining edX, this writer questions the potential success such an initiative may yield.

Dartmouth is an institution not known for its breadth of or emphasis on academic research, but rather for its focus on undergraduate teaching. This naturally is conducive to small, personal classrooms and instruction that incorporates small group discussions and debates as much as it does lectures and readings. It is conducive to professors not acting as monotonous lecturers, but rather personal, hands-on educators. MOOCs are simply not conducive to that type of educational experience.

Dartmouth’s ability to convey its educational excellence via a MOOC like edX is questionable, at best.

— Kush S. Desai, ’17

  • KennethG

    Good analysis… like this type of work by the Review

  • marinead93

    I never thought of these online courses as incongruous with Dartmouth's education… great post!