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University of Pennsylvania joins edX

University of Pennsylvania, announced this week that they will offering courses on non-profit MOOC provider edx under the name ‘PennX’. According to Edward Rock, director of Open Course Initiatives “We selected edX to expand our MOOC offerings specifically because of their open source platform”

Penn and Coursera

Penn is one of the initial four university partners of Cousera and has an equity stake in Coursera via a $3.7M joint investment with Caltech. After Johns Hopkins University,  Penn is the second largest course provider with more than 40 courses. In July 2014, Penn announced that it had enrolled more than 2.3 million students on Coursera and had granted more than 90,000 Statements of Accomplishment.

Open Learning at Penn: Year Two

Open Learning at Penn: Year Two

UPenn and edX

UPenn is not the first university which will be offering courses on both edX and Coursera (others have included Rice University, University of California – Berkeley, Caltech). What should we read into this, that universities don’t want to be locked in to a single MOOC platform provider? That they are increasing their negotiating leverage? Or perhaps they see important feature differences that are important in different situations? Alas, the answer could also be that universities simply like to have the flexibility to experiment (at top-tier universities, tenured faculty tend to have a good deal of say in how they operate).

The first few courses that Penn will offer on edX are:

• Analyzing Global Trends for Business and Society

• Intellectual Property Law and Policy

• Going Out on a Limb: The Anatomy of the Upper Limb

As a note, two of these courses have been offered before on the Coursera platform. Thus, they apparently have the right to re-use their content on alternate MOOC platforms.