Graduate from Oxford University and you can be one with the likes of Oscar Wilde, J.R.R. Tolkien, Stephen Hawking, and yes — even Hugh Grant. The list of famous Oxonians is long and getting your name listed is a lifetime’s exercise in academics.
But you can now namedrop without going through the hallowed halls. Take a walk across the portal of the web and enroll in its first massive open online course (MOOC). Oxford is late on the MOOC bandwagon. The University continues to offer free instructional materials through the iTunes U service. But the latest partnership with edX is the first full-fledged venture that promises to help you learn more skills with micro-courses.
Oxford and edX will start enrolling students for a course starting in February 2017 called “From Poverty to Prosperity: Understanding Economic Development“.
The free economics class will examine the role that governments play in boosting economic development. Sir Paul Collier, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government will lead students’ through the concepts with the help of video lectures, case studies, comparative analysis and a range of other learning activities.
You Can Enroll Now
All you need is a deep interest in the subject. That could be the easiest way to shine the Oxford tag. The class is for six-weeks and you can enroll right now. The official announcement said:
The course will last for six weeks, with learners expected to spend two to three hours a week on the course. After the offering period, the course will remain open and accessible to the public to view the contents (video lectures, case studies, readings) and to take the multiple-choice questions but no interaction with peers or instructional staff will be possible.
MOOCs can help plug some of the gaps in standard education. But they award certificates and not formal degrees. You can’t say that you are a graduate of Oxford… but you can say that you got something valuable out of Oxford University.
Have you taken an edX course or any MOOC before? Will you be taking this economics class? Do you think that a name like Oxford will add a sheen to the status of MOOCs?