NUS to offer courses on global online portal edX

NUS will have at least four massive open online courses on edX in 2020, and plans to introduce more over the next three years.
NUS will have at least four massive open online courses on edX in 2020, and plans to introduce more over the next three years.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Latest tie-up to start next year with at least 4 courses; plans for more over next 3 years

The National University of Singapore (NUS) is tying up with popular online education provider edX to offer courses on its platform from next year.

For a start, it will have at least four massive open online courses (MOOCs) on edX next year, with plans to introduce more over the next three years.

This is the university's second partnership with such providers. The first was with another key United States-based education provider Coursera in 2013.

NUS' current offerings on Coursera comprise a course each in philosophy and music, as well as one specialisation, which involves a series of courses with the aim of mastering a specific skill, in this case, intercultural communication.

Students and staff at NUS have since August also had access to more than 2,000 online courses on edX offered by about 120 institutions and partners across the world.

They include top institutions like Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and University of California, Berkeley.

NUS undergraduates have the option of counting completed online courses as part of their curriculum with the recent introduction of an initiative that lets students design part of their course components.

They can earn up to four modular credits in pursuing subjects on edX as part of their Unrestricted Electives modules.

In a statement yesterday, NUS provost Ho Teck Hua said partnering edX - which was founded by Harvard and MIT - gives NUS students and staff "greater access to knowledge across diverse topics and specialisations, including technology, business and the humanities".

In addition, the courses NUS plans to offer on edX will be open to the public and users around the world.

The first programme - to be launched on edX in January next year - is called Spatial Computing Thinking. It will cover the theory and practical skills needed for generating, analysing and visualising complex 3D-spatial data sets.

 
 
 

The professional certificate programme consists of four courses spread over four months, and will require learners to complete assessments. It will be taught by Associate Professor Patrick Janssen from the NUS architecture department.

The other MOOCs are: intercultural communication at work, offered by the NUS Centre for English Language Communication; data analytics skills development courses for professionals in the built sector by the NUS School of Design and Environment; and a course on the future of US-China relations by the NUS Asia Research Institute.

This semester, second-year economics student Bryan Chang, 22, took a course on urban cities offered by Harvard University on edX, which will give him two modular credits.

He said: "I'm interested in policies and planning, and it's good to be able to further your learning beyond what NUS offers. It helps that NUS recognises the work that goes into such courses, and it will also reimburse us for the course fee."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 15, 2019, with the headline 'NUS to offer courses on global online portal edX'. Print Edition | Subscribe