EDUCATION

Georgetown offers edX free online courses

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When college students head back to school in the fall, so can you. Georgetown University is joining Harvard and MIT in offering free online courses. From chemistry to computer science, all you need to do is log on.

“Anyone who has internet access could enroll in these courses,” says Bob Groves, Georgetown University Provost.

Take your pick: A class on circuits and electronics taught by MIT staff, or computer science led by Harvard faculty. Now Georgetown will be added to the list.

“The idea is that we use the best professors from the best universities to teach the best courses we can to the world,” says Groves.

In May, not-for-profit edX launched the global learning initiative. It now has 500,000 users at six participating universities, including Georgetown.

“We have great strengths in humanities and social sciences. We have a lot of strength in policy studies and law and business and medicine,” says John DeGioia, Georgetown University president.

The school plans to offer its unique online classes by fall, and it’s an opportunity that many say is hard to pass up.

“Free information, how could that be bad?” says Neil Martin, a Washington state resident.

“If they offered something that supplemented the classes I’m currently taking and that goes with what I’m interested in, I could see myself doing that,” says Karina Wagnerman.

At the end, students can only receive a certificate of completion through edX. Meanwhile, schools will be able to analyze the effectiveness of learning via the web.

Students interested in taking these online courses can simply log on to www.edx.org.

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