HarvardX for alumni rethinks engagement in the MOOC era

2 min read

In the spring of 2014 HarvardX and the Harvard Alumni Association launched HarvardX for Alumni.

If HarvardX is new to you, as it was to many of our alumni, it is a University-wide strategic initiative to enable our faculty to build and create online learning experiences that would also transform residential learning and enable groundbreaking research in online pedagogies. Much of the HarvardX online offerings are distributed by edX, the Harvard and MIT founded MOOC platform.

The idea behind the prototype HarvardX program for alumni came by way of a brainstorm by Robert Lue, faculty director for HarvardX. An alumnus himself, Lue had a longstanding desire to find a way to reconnect graduates to the intellectual bedrock of the University.

Or in his words, “We always knew that we could do something special with HarvardX and alumni … How could we, in essence, bring Harvard to them wherever they are?”

Lue also was intrigued by the “whenever axis,” dubbing the project “Harvard Forever,” a phrase The Crimson, the Harvard undergraduate newspaper spun into the “Harvard Class of Forever.”

Why should the rich community of learning that so many alumni cherish end with graduation? Indeed, this was an opportunity to redefine the idea of life-long learning as a life-long relationship with Harvard.