edX was born following two revolutions in technology: cheap, robust video streaming and the growth of on-line social, in a belief that this progress would allow us to create effective, at-scale digital learning experiences. Indeed, the first MOOCs, predating edX, were born purely based on the rise of on-line social. Three years in, we are still in the early ages of social in MOOCs. We'll discuss some of our initial experiences and approaches, such as community question-and-answer, several experiments in sourcing content from learners, on-line chat, discussion forums, peer review, and small project groups, successes and failures, upcoming features to enable more social interaction, and as an open source platform, ways that interested parties can get involved, and ways that folks have integrated with us in the past.
As Chief Scientist at edX and its technical co-founder, Piotr Mitros is charged with developing and applying technology to optimize the learning process. As a graduate student, Mitros took breaks from his thesis to spend time teaching in China, working in India, and facilitating educational technology projects in Nigeria, as well as developing experimental educational formats at MIT. His observations of university systems around the world inspired Mitros to find innovative ways to dramatically increase both the quality of and access to education. Following a stint in industry designing the analog front end for a novel medical imaging modality at Rhythmia Medical, Mitros returned to MIT to lead the creation of the MITx platform (which later became Open edX) and help lead the creation of its pedagogy. Since the creation of edX, he has lead projects in learning analytics, crowdsourcing, assessment, and use of educational technology in the developing world. Mitros holds B.S. degrees in Math and Electrical Engineering, a Masters of Engineering in EECS, and a Ph.D. in EECS, all from MIT.