By Steve Kolowich
France is encouraging its universities to build massive open online courses—in French, naturally—with edX’s open-source platform, the nonprofit organization announced on Thursday.
The move is part of a push by France’s Ministry of Higher Education and Research to increase the country’s online offerings. This year the ministry opened a “digital university,” called France Université Numerique, which it hopes will serve as an online clearinghouse for MOOCs offered by various French universities. The first courses will begin early next year.
EdX, which was founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, recently made the source code for its popular MOOC platform available free. Stanford University, for example, has begun using the OpenEdX platform to power some of its online courses.
France is the first country to adopt OpenEdX at a ministerial level, said Anant Agarwal, president of edX. The French digital university will be independent of edX, but the French government might pay edX for support services, he said.
[ Full article available at The Chronicle of Higher Education: http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/vive-la-revolution-mooc/47099 ]