edX announces partnership to bring MOOCs to K-12 students
- edX and GEMS Education announced a partnership during the Global Education & Skills Forum to bring MOOC courses to pre-university students.
- While edX has previously worked with Davidson College and The College Board to launch AP modules in calculus, macroeconomics, and physics, GEMS will be the first exclusive K-12 provider on its platform. Currently, only 5% of edX's 2 million world-wide users are K-12 students.
- The first GEMS courses are scheduled to rollout in late 2014. Marc Boxser, GEMS Director for External Relations & Strategic Initiatives, indicated that the organization has not yet determined which group of students they will target with initial offerings but anticipates the focus will be on late secondary education.
The partnership furthers edX's mission to educate a billion people around the world, however, accreditation remains a key challenge for MOOCs. While this problem does not go away in K-12, in many ways these institutions are better positioned to take advantage of MOOCs. As Anant Agarwal, President of edX, pointed out, competency based testing is already used to give AP credits. It's not hard to imagine a system where, after certified completion of an online course, competency exams are given to award credit in K-12 systems.