MathWorks, a supporter of MIT OpenCourseWare since 2012, has pledged $2 million in new support for the development of massive open online courses through MITx. MIT OpenCourseWare and MITx are the flagship programs of the recently formed Office of Digital Learning, which is leading MIT’s exploration of how scalable learning technologies will transform education online and on campus.
The new MathWorks pledge is in addition to an $850,000 pledge made in 2012 to support MIT OpenCourseWare, and will be used to fund postdoc, graduate, and undergraduate teaching assistant positions for MITx massive open online courses; the creation of additional MITx courses in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics); and MITx courses with hands-on activities for learners.
“Scalable learning tools are permitting unprecedented access to educational opportunities,” remarked MathWorks CEO Jack Little at the announcement of the new gift. “We are proud to play a role in this remarkable effort to provide outstanding educational experiences to anyone with Internet access, and to create more effective and engaging learning for students on the MIT campus.”
To date, MITx has offered 24 courses on the edX platform, including 2.01x: Elements of Structures and 2.03x: Dynamics, both of which are made possible through MATLAB integration. In total, MITx courses have received more than 1 million enrollments. The scalable tools developed for MITx classes have also been used for experiments in more than two dozen MIT campus courses, involving more than 2,000 students.
"We are thrilled that MathWorks has chosen to further its already substantial support for digital learning at MIT," says MIT Provost Martin Schmidt. "MathWorks is not only a leader in the development of computational software, but visionary in their example of how digital technologies can transform our understanding of STEM subjects."