Greetings, students

Thanks for visiting our new course. We have lots of exciting things in store. Unfortunately, edX jumped the gun a bit and opened the course on edX before our intended rollout. This course site will be available shortly. If you've registered on, you'll receive an email when the first lesson is live. Thanks for your patience!


The first module of MCB80x launched in October 2013, and all content will be available indefinitely. The trailer video below provides a quick overview of what the course is like.

A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education.

George Bernard Shaw


Let's face it: MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) promise disruption, and yet most of them to date deliver an extremely traditional learning experience. Basically, it's the big-lecture-hall format, with an internet-sized lecture hall.

However, many of us in higher education never were happy about the big-lecture-hall format in the first place. Lecturing to an audience of hundreds is a impersonal experience for all involved; the interaction is usually almost completely unidirectional, and the material must be lowered to the lowest common denominator. Make no mistake: there are many professors who are masters of this format, who can inspire mass audiences. However, I'd wager that most of them still wish they could engage with their students in a smaller format. The big-hall lecture is a practical necessity, but it is in no way ideal. In many ways, the big lecture is academia's dirty laundry; many of the most memorable experiences in a Harvard education come from smaller seminar experiences, not to mention interactions with peers.

Our goal is to reboot the MOOC and leverage the advantages of the internet, rather than just shoveling the same old lecture format onto the web. It's going to be a long journey, and we're almost certainly not going to get it right the first time, but we're excited about the possibilities. We invite you to join us in this experiment and we welcome your feedback and help in making an online learning space that lives up to the hype.


MCB80x is largely a labor of love created by a small group of core staff, along with a larger group of creative professionals who generously contribute their time to making this course happen.