QuickWire: Harvard and MIT Release Scrubbed MOOC Data – Wired Campus - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education

abernard102@gmail.com 2014-05-30

“De-identified” records of more than a million people who took part in the first year of massive open online courses offered by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been released to researchers, the two institutions said on Friday.

The institutions said the records had been “subjected to a careful process of de-identification: removing personally identifiable information, using best practices including aggregation, anonymization via random identifiers, and blurring to reduce individuality of sensitive data fields, among other techniques.”

“By sharing these de-identified data, we hope to show that we can protect information about individuals while still enabling replicable research about what works in online learning,” said Andrew Ho, an associate professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Mr. Ho and Isaac Chuang, a professor in MIT’s departments of electrical engineering and computer science and of physics, were the lead researchers in the effort to release data from the courses, offered through the two institutions’ edX platform.