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MIT Libraries Staff Web

Engage with MITx: Project Updates

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Project Status Update - May 2013

Activities and Accomplishments

    • Two significant milestones reached this past month in the Libraries' Engage with MITx strategic objective have been the completion of the initial draft of the edX library collaboration working groups:
    • The edX collaboration has created a new coordinating team to help guide the activities of the collaboration.  You can read more about the team at
    • Work has also continued on collaborating with the Office of Digital Learning, edX, and the Office of General Council on negotiating access to required textbooks for MITx courses offered through edX and determining fair use principles for these courses.
    • AMPS (the MIT Video Production Department, the Distance Education and Streaming Operations group within SCS) and TechTV will be moving to the Office of Digital Education effective July 1, 2013.  As stated in Ann Wolpert's earlier email  “The synergy between the mission of ODL and these highly skilled units is clear and compelling, and the strength and experience the staff of these units will bring to MIT’s new focus on digital learning will contribute significantly to the success of this high-priority activity of the Institute.” 

    Project Status Update - April 2013

    Activities and Accomplishments

      • Library staff are participating on two Office of Digital Learning (ODL) task forces – Larry Gallagher is on the “Video Vignettes” group and Steve Gass is on the “Learning Environments” group.   ODL is the office with responsibility for MITx.
      • The two working groups from the edx Libraries collaborative group are well underway.  The Content Accessibility Group is building use cases.  The Research Skills group is looking at edx classes with library components as well as looking at how to build learning modules within the edx infrastructure.  Preliminary reports from both groups are expected at the end of April.  More information on the collaboration is available at
      • The ODL has a web site now: .  Within the ODL site there is a portal to MIT-only MITx classes ( that have a different set of classes than are offered via edx.
      • Steve and members of the MITx Libraries Initiative team have been involved in a number of meetings with people related to MITx:  Dan Carchidi (Director of Special Projects, ODL), Howard Lurie (Vice President of Content Development, edX), and members of the Office of General Counsel (OGC).
      • Preliminary discussions have taken place with several publishers including the MIT Press Leadership Team, Springer, and Wiley to talk about content within MOOCs.
      • An assessment plan for the LC objective, Engage with MITx, is under development.
      • Steve Gass attended a conference on MOOCs and Libraries in March, sponsored by OCLC.  The agenda for the meeting can be seen at
      • Deb Morley and Mark Szarko have met with edX staff to get an introduction to the edX Studio platform, the online authoring tool for edX courses, and to share ideas about how to think about research skills within the edX environment.
      • Steve and Tito Sierra met with Joe Martis of ODL to get an introduction to the MITx version of the edX Studio tool.
      • ODL has asked the Libraries to assist with negotiation for “free” textbook access for MITx courses being developed for edX.
      • Ellen Duranceau is participating in a newly formed working group convened by the OGC to examine how fair use should be applied to MITx/edX courses.
      • ODL has provided Steve with access to its course report database that they use to track ongoing prospects and development of MITx courses.
      • MIT Video Production continues to do work – video capture and post-production – for a number of MITx/edX courses.
      • Discussions have begun with ODL about how to leverage the Triad classrooms in building 9 in support of MITx.
      • An article on the Libraries involvement with MITx/edX is in the spring issue of the Bibliotech.

        Project Status Update - January 2013

        The MITx team continues in its efforts to engage with stakeholders at MIT, edX, and other edX institutions to inform its efforts to identify the needs of MIT faculty and students for library and information services and to begin to scope the changes and effort required by the Libraries to support MITx. 

        Activities and Accomplishments

        • Met with Chancellor Eric Grimson to learn about the new Director of Digital Learning position.
        • Met with Lori Breslow, Director of the Teaching and Learning Laboratory, to learn about their work in assessing 6.002x.  Her office is co-recipient of an NSF grant to look at last’s spring’s 6.002x experience and attempt to answer the following questions:
          • Who are the students who enrolled in one of the first open online courses?
          • How did students utilize the learning materials and resources offered by the course?
          • How do student characteristics and their interaction with course materials relate to learning outcomes?
          • How did 6.002x interact with students’ residential experience? 
        • Met with Vijay Kumar, Director of the Office of Educational Innovation and Technology, to discuss his work to support the Chancellor’s ad hoc working group on MITx, and discussions regarding the relationship between OEIT and the new Director of Digital Learning.
        • Worked with edX library collaborators to finalize the first two working groups within the library collaboration:
          • Working Group on Content Accessibility to explore the legal and policy issues surrounding the use and accessibility of course content, and recommend best practices for addressing these issues as well as identify possible opportunities for useful support services for “x” courses.
          • Working Group on Research Skills to identify how libraries can work with faculty to improve the information skills of MOOC learners to support deeper learning.
        • Created an edX library wiki to support the work of the collaboration,  It provides access to the list of members, and the working group charges.
        • Reached out to new edX institutions, Wellesley and Georgetown, to offer their library counterparts the opportunity to participate in the edx library collaborative.  They have decided to participate. 
        • Met with Tena Herlihy, edX Director of Business and Legal Affairs, to brief her on the team’s efforts and those of the edX library collaboration.
        • Reached out to MIT’s Office of General Counsel and OCW to brief them on the team’s efforts and those of the edX library collaboration.
        • Met with Sanjay Sarma, the new Director of Digital Learning, to learn of his early plans, and to educate him about the Libraries’ efforts and interests.
        • Met with Cec d’Oliveira, Executive Director of OCW, to brief her on the team’s efforts and those of the edX library collaboration.
        • Talked with the OCLC Research Partnership about the possibility of an OCLC sponsored library focused MOOC meeting in early March.

        Project Status Update - November 2012

        Activity over the past few months continued to focus on learning more about MITx and edX, reaching out to other edX institutions, and educating others about our efforts.  

        Activities and Accomplishments

        • In late September the team held an open meeting for the Research and Instructional Directorate to inform them of our efforts and listen to feedback and questions.  The agenda is available.
        • In collaboration with Berkeley, Harvard, and the University of Texas we have formed a library collaboration group to work together in developing best practices and tools in support of edX.  Two initial areas are being discussed for the possible creation of small working groups:
          • Developing best copyright/licensing practices in the use of scholarly content for edX courses (for which the recent ARL  Issue Brief: MOOC’s + Libraries = ??? provides useful background).
          • Creating online modules on research related skills relevant to MOOCs.
        • Liaisons are investigating course content for classes that are expected to be brought online in the spring (although they have not been announced yet).  Several new MIT classes came online in the last few months (3.091 and 6.00x). 
        • We have scheduled meetings in November with Eric Grimson, Lori Breslow, and Vijay Kumar to continue learning more about the latest developments related to MITx roles and responsibilities.

        Project Status Update - September 2012

        Beginning in July the team has been investigating MITx, edX, and the larger landscape of Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs).  The initiative is fast moving, involves high level members of the MIT community, and many policy questions remain open.  Since the adoption of this strategic objective by Library Council, MITx has become edX in collaboration with Harvard, and most recently the University of California at Berkeley has joined edX.  Efforts to date have focused on reaching out to key faculty and staff at MIT, edX, and Harvard to learn more about current activities and future plans.  Because this effort is an "investigation" it was decided that planning activities should be located within the RIS Leadership Team with the understanding that other RIS staff as well as staff from other directorates will be involved as appropriate. 

        Activities and Accomplishments

        • Ongoing work by MVP to support creation of videos for specific MITx courses.
        • Met with the MIT Chancellor, Eric Grimson, to inform him of the Libraries' MITx strategic objective. 
        • Met with representatives from Harvard University Libraries to discuss how best to collaborate around edX.
        • Met with edX and Harvard to discuss copyright framework for making available edX content and software.
        • Met with Eric Klopfer, DUSP faculty, and member of the Chancellor's ad hoc working group on MITx.
        • Basecamp project site created and in use.
        • Identifying key competitors, e.g. Udacity, Coursera, and developing strategy to investigate how they are dealing with library related issues.
        • Team reviewing related literature on MOOCs.
        • Staff web page created: