Saturday, September 28, 2013

Why edX is a failure

When MIT announced MITx I went on the record saying it will be a major flop.

No one had any idea what it was supposed to accomplish but across a wide range of goals it seemed doomed to failure.

Is it an educational gym, providing resources to help you build mental muscle?
Is it a personal trainer, providing you advice on how to train?
Is it a means to signal how smart you are?
Or a networking tool, the main function of a residential college?

It looks like the leadership is mostly hoping to be some combination of gym and signaling device, weighted toward gym. You can get certificates for passing classes, but most of the resources are going into developing tools. Look at the job postings:

Devops Engineer (2x)
Front-end Developer (2x)
Director of Services
Program Manager (2x)
Test Engineer
Software Engineer
Principal Software Engineer

It looks like 70% of their employees are programmers and the other 30% are administrators. Where are the educators? Evidently they aren't that important.

After a year and a half, MITx is well on its way to flopping.

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