This Week in LIS - 20 September 2013

Weekly news and updates from Luther College Information Technology Services. To receive email updates, please sign up here.

Headline of the Week: Curriculum Sequences and Identity Verification Come to edX

The non-profit corporation, edX, was established by MIT and Harvard to explore the possibilities associated with very large on-line classes. They are interesting for a number of reasons. First, teaching and learning experiments, informed by analysis of the data they collect from their large number of online students, might lead to new understanding about learning that can be applied in our courses. Additionally the content and the platform may be useful to us to leverage. Yet another is that it is important to think about, anticipate and leverage the impacts their efforts have on higher education and the students we endeavor to serve.

This week MITx shared they intend to integrate a sequence of MOOCs into a curriculum they call “XSeries”. The first sequence will be Foundations of Computer Science targeted to undergraduates and it begins this fall.   Although the content of a sequence is expected to be the equivalent of 2-4 traditional residential courses the approach will disconnect from the structure of the academic semester.

At the same time, they plan to explore various types of certification leveraging a new ID verification process to give more credibility to the certificates one might earn.  Prices for the verified certificates are pending.  The idea is that trusted certificates will contribute to furthering careers.

It is exciting to think about how the content, the platforms, and the learning science might be leveraged to improve our offerings and the learning of our students. What are ways to explore the possibilities?  Given the initial offering is targeted to undergraduates, how might we respond to a student that wants to enroll?  Might there be a faculty student research opportunity here?

Suggested Reading/Viewing/Listening:

Mini MOOC Minors

MITx introduces "XSeries" course sequence certificates on edX

ID Verified Certificates of Achievement

MIT Will Offer MOOC Curricula, Not Just Single Courses, on edX

[email protected]

LIS Blog Highlights from the Week

The following articles are sampled from those available on the LIS Blog:

Notes from LIS Council

LIS Council is the leadership team within LIS.

Upcoming LIS Events

Click on the event below for specific information and for a link to register. More information on training and development events is available.

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

Training and instruction is provided to the Luther Community through Faculty Development Sessions, Library Instruction Sessions, Product Demonstrations, Skills Training, Workshops, 1-on-1 Sessions, and Online Materials. To schedule a session, contact the LIS Technology Help Desk at x1000 or enter your request online at

This Week in LIS is published most Fridays by Paul Mattson, Executive Director of LIS at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

Content is made available under Creative Commons license.