Colgate Announces Online Course System

Luke Parauda

Provost and Dean of Faculty Douglas Hicks announced to faculty and students of Colgate last week that the University has become a contributing member of the edX community of colleges and universities. The move was made in collaboration with Hamilton College. Colgate and Hamilton join Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cornell University, Dartmouth College and numerous other colleges and universities around the world in the edX system.

Hicks’ campus-wide email announcement did not go into extensive detail, but made it clear that edX will help provide noncredit courses online to alumni and students who choose to study abroad.

EdX is a nonprofit organization that uses technology to improve education and instruction. Colgate has embraced this technology in order to keep alumni connected and promote a platform for the entire Colgate community.

The edX system has the potential to connect alumni with current students, faculty to alumni and faculty with current students. This technology can allow for open courses as well as closed classes.   

“Initially, we will be focusing on courses aimed at Colgate alumni and developing content for incoming students. In the future, some non-credit courses may be developed to offer co-curricular courses for current students,” Hicks said. 

Colgate’s edX courses are likely to take many forms. From enticing prospective students to promoting faculty research, edX courses and technology will allow Colgate to reach a much wider audience. The online nature will allow for a greater level of global intellectual development.

“And, of course, edX has a wealth of content for anyone who is intellectually curious, including current students,” Hicks said. 

Colgate is making an effort to commit to technology as a major part of the University’s strategic plan moving forward. There may not be immediate widespread use of edX by current Colgate students, but there is huge potential for this platform moving forward.

“Courses taken exclusively through edX will not be eligible for Colgate credit, but it is conceivable that, in the future, a faculty member may use edX as a tool for some aspects of a course, much as they may use Moodle today,” Hicks said.

Although Colgate and Hamilton jointly announced the decision to join edX early last week, it will likely be a year before Colgate is offering courses through this online platform. Once the technology is in place, the Colgate edX webpage and registration information will be available on the Colgate website.

Contact Luke Parauda  at [email protected]