This report describes one of the first courses, JusticeX, offered by HarvardX on the edX platform. The report was prepared by researchers external to the course team, based on an examination of the courseware, analyses of data collected by the edX platform, and interviews with the course faculty and team members.
The report proceeds in four parts. We begin by describing the goals and structure of JusticeX, with the belief that any learning environment should be evaluated in the context of its intent, values, and vision. We then provide descriptive statistics about the students who registered for JusticeX and compare them to other HarvardX students. With an understanding of what the course team created and the learners who took an interest in the course, we then turn to examining how participants interacted with the resources, including their patterns of assessment-‐taking, persistence, and overall activity. We end by examining the limits of our understanding of student learning in JusticeX and discuss future research directions for online humanities courses.
Our hope is that this report and its companion reports—including a synthetic multiple-course report and other reports from the first HarvardX courses—will inspire new avenues of research and provide insights to future course designers in designing the next generation of open online courses.