The edX Consortium Welcomed 13 New Partners during its Annual Event


The 2016 edX Global Forum, celebrated at the Sorbonne Universite in Paris, welcomed the 13 new partners of the edX consortium, including Institut Mines-Télécom, Babson College, University System of Maryland, Imperial College London.

This annual event discussed ideas to further integrate blended learning into education, shared new ways to unbundle the academic offering and heard views from some of the 14 partners who have participated in the MicroMasters initiative.

Recognized as best professor on a Solar Energy course

During the gathering, TU Delft Professor Arno Smets was named the first-ever winner of the edX Prize for Exceptional Contributions in Online Teaching and Learning. His course, Solar Energy, has reached almost 150,000 learners globally.

By using innovative online teaching tools like custom animations, promoting peer interaction and facilitating discussions, Professor Smets guides learners through the process of creating a photovoltaic system. The systems simulate the use of renewable energy, and show how it can have an immediate impact improving the lives of those living in developing countries and how it can make an overall contribution to a more sustainable world.

Active learners in his course uploaded information on the hours of sun and the reliability of the electricity-network in their areas to create a valuable map for the feasibility of solar energy, which is being used by researchers and installation professionals in the field today.

After spending time working with Professor Smets in The Netherlands, these learners – from Algeria, Nepal, Ecuador and Myanmar – returned home equipped with the tools they needed to make a difference in their own local communities.

The course has been translated into Arabic and is offered on Edraak. In June 2016, a Chinese version of the Solar Energy course was launched on the XuetangX China platform as well.

Additionally, Professor Smets offered the first draft of his book on Solar Energy for free.