edX Drops Plans to Connect MOOC Students With Employers

Steve Kolowich, Observatoire de Paris, Dec 17, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

According to a slide show leaked to the Chronicle of Higher Education, edX is abandoning its plan to link students with employers. "In a pilot job-placement program, edX recruited 868 high-performing students from two computer-science MOOCs at the University of California at Berkeley... only three landed job interviews. None was hired. The results of the pilot, which ran about a year ago, were not publicized." It turns out that this, too, is much more complex than the xMOOCers expected. "We would have to become a job company," said exD president Anant Agarwal. "You can’t just take the top people from the class and connect them with employers. There’s a lot more to it." Who would have thought? So what now? What else but this: "The organization has also started licensing some courses to institutions outside the edX consortium, including several California State University campuses. The institutions pay edX a per-student fee to adopt a MOOC for curricular use." Oh yeah? My cynicism abounds. (Graphic: Daniel N. Yue, Harvard Crimson)

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