Harvard Launches HarvardXPLUS, an Open edX Platform with Paid Content and Smaller Cohorts

Harvard University has launched HarvardXPLUS, a premium Open edX platform with a selection of popular online courses.

This project will include credentials, limited enrollments and smaller cohorts, in order to “allow students to engage even more with your fellow learners , and with Harvard faculty and teaching fellows”, explained Robert Lue, HarvardX Faculty Director.

“Today’s online learners seek premium content and unique opportunities to interact with like-minded peers. During the past four years, many of you have also expressed an interest in a more personalized online learning experience,” added.

HarvardXPLUS now includes four courses, all of which are paid and open to enrollment starting on September 2016.

The platform uses the same theme as MIT Professional X and follows the same business model, based mostly on targeting professional audiences who are willing to pay to enjoy smaller cohorts and earning credentials (for example, any student can now take the Contracts and Principles of Biochemistry courses for free on edx.org but without any credentialing, since the verified certificate option is closed.)

It is remarkable that the two founders of edX (MIT and Harvard) have decided to launch their own branded platforms instead of concentrating all of their courses on edx.org.