There are two kinds of BerkeleyX courses:
edX.org courses are featured on the edx.org website. These are highly polished courses visible to the whole world. Currently we can add 2 to 3 new BerkeleyX courses each semester; that growth rate is expected to increase during 2013.
Labs.edx.org courses use the same software platform, authoring environment, etc. as BerkeleyX courses, but they may (a) restrict enrollment at their option (for example, limited to on-campus students enrolled in the corresponding on-campus course, or limited public enrollment to beta-test a new course), (b) represent only a subset of “modules” of course materials rather than a full standalone course. The Labs environment is an ideal place to develop and “debug” courses on their way to becoming BerkeleyX courses.
Who can create and deploy a Labs course? Anyone. The platform and authoring environment that support this will be deployed about October 15, 2012. It will be the same tools and platform as edX.org courses.
Types of Labs “courses” include:
Private, enrollment by invitation only: Using edX platform in conjunction with an on-campus course, so your on-campus students are the only ones enrolled. Useful if you want to use platform features such as autograding in your on-campus course as well.
Public, limited enrollment: anyone can enroll but total enrollment is limited according to your discretion.
Module: a publicly- or privately-accessible subset of a course, for example, covering only specific topics. You could choose to make modules available to other instructors for supplementing their own courses.
How does a “full” Labs course become an edX.org featured course? A hand-picked subcommittee representing innovative, passionate, and highly-recognized instructors from Berkeley's various Schools will develop guidelines for doing this, since we expect demand across many departments. In addition to high course quality and instructor quality, the subcommittee will consider issues of instructor diversity, how the release of a particular course could help on-campus students (courses at root of prerequisite chains, etc.), and whether the course would stimulate innovation in the technology or platform. Stay tuned for details.