Leading international universities discuss MOOCs at Sorbonne University on 14-16 November 2016

Members of the MOOC EdX platform, founded by Harvard and MIT, met in Paris on 14 to 16 November during its Global Forum. It was an ideal opportunity for leading specialists to reflect on the state of higher education and the importance of MOOCs in 2025.


EdX has 11 “contributor” members and only three European members. Sorbonne University is among these three, alongside TU Delft and RWTH Aachen University.


This event, which was held at UPMC’s Jussieu Campus, included discussions and networking. There were two decentralized highlights. On 14 November, the EdX awards ceremony was held during the inaugural evening in the Grand Amphithéâtre at the Sorbonne. On Tuesday 15 November, the Gala evening was held at the Petit Palais fine arts museum, built for the 1900 Great Exhibition. A guided tour of the collections and the Oscar Wilde exhibition was also organized.  A chord was thus struck between the artist’s works and the six-week MOOC course, which started on 27 October, given by Pascal Aquien, English literature professor at Paris-Sorbonne.


Over 300 participants from around the world shared their experiences and practices with one another over three days. EdX courses are accessed by a wide range of students, ranging from high school to university and PhD st


udents even to novices of all ages with varied educational backgrounds. These students have access to educational content that would never have been available in the past.  The experience of the 30 million people that accessed these online courses has enabled them to think about the future of this kind of education. They discussed accreditations, how MOOCs affect social advancement, and the impact of constantly changing online courses on business schools and French “E

 coles de commerces.”  They also reflected on the future while taking into particular consideration specific perspectives in Asia, as well as how to reach out to the expanding Spanish-speaking world and so on.

This professional conference brought together approximately 400 people from around the world to network and share knowledge, including a considerable number of teachers and academics, managers from international companies and cultural institutions, teaching teams, technology teachers, researchers, marketing managers, and data and operations managers, as well as visionaries and pioneers in online teaching.  

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