Strengthening Georgia Tech's Leadership in the Online Space: Announcing the Launch of GTx

By adding edX to already successful partnerships with Coursera, Udacity, and NovoEd, Georgia Tech becomes the first major research institution to offer the online experience on all major MOOC platform providers.

Today, we proudly announce the launch of GTx, a new educational brand created in partnership with edX. Under the GTx label, Georgia Tech will utilize the edX platform to offer online content for learners around the world.  With this new partnership, we become a charter member of the edX Consortium, further strengthening Georgia Tech’s leadership role in the online space. By adding edX to already successful partnerships with Coursera, Udacity, and NovoEd, Georgia Tech becomes the first major research institution to offer the online experience on all major MOOC platform providers. 

The educational landscape all over the world is truly changing rapidly.  That is also true at Georgia Tech. Since offering our first open online course in 2012, more than 1 million students have accessed Georgia Tech’s content, allowing our faculty to deliver education experiences that are responsive to the demands of today’s learner in ways we could have only imagined just a few years ago. 

Each of our partners brings unique strengths. Coursera’s worldwide reach and more than 140 university partners has been ideal for offering massive on-line open courses on a large variety of subjects that showcase the breadth of Georgia Tech. Coursera has become a global education innovation lab. Learners have had the opportunity to receive certificates of completion in several of the offerings. The opportunity for certificates on “Specializations,” sequences around a subject matter with a capstone project, is now in development.

Coursera has also served as a launching pad for our increasing use of online material in “blended” or “flipped” classrooms. Udacity, along with key philanthropic support from AT&T, has been our very close partner in delivering our Online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMS-CS). This is a one-of-a-kind professional master degree. With more than 3,000 degree seeking learners, we had our first graduates this past December. This has been a transformational success.

Udacity’s focus on computer science and “nanodegrees” makes this particular relationship a natural. NovoEd is a social learning platform, co-founded by Georgia Tech alumnus Amin Saberi. NovoEd’s collaborative capabilities and the interest in working with the Scheller School of Business promises even more innovation for Scheller’s corporate offerings.

In contrast to our other partners edX is a non-profit organization, founded by MIT and Harvard. As such, there is a natural affinity of culture and thinking, as well as the stability associated with the founding institutions. We expect that the bulk of our offerings, under the GTx brand, will be in developing master degree programs, full length courses that could become part of our residential programs as a well as available to others, and program offerings through Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE).

Georgia Tech has had decades of experience with online education via our distance learning activities, and now through GTPE. Nevertheless, the last three to four years have been an extraordinary learning experience that has engaged a large segment of our community. Under the leadership of GTPE and C21U, with the engagement of all our colleges and other units in our Education Innovation Ecosystem, we will continue learning. It is an exciting future.

But that future is not only about online learning. The traditions of higher education are rapidly being redefined and challenge us as an institution to respond in ways that are strategic and intentional.  Most importantly, these challenges force us to ask vital questions about the future of education here at Georgia Tech. To answer those questions I have convened the Commission on Creating the Next in Education (CNE), co-chaired by Profs. Bonnie Ferri and Rich DeMillo. CNE will be the subject of my next blog.

 - Rafael L. Bras

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Institute Communications