Professor William Jack Selected as Finalist for edX Prize

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Congratulations to Georgetown Professor William Jack (Economics), whose Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) made its way into the top 10 finalists for the edX Prize for Exceptional Contributions in Online Teaching and Learning. 

Impact Evaluation Methods with Applications in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, a GeorgetownX MOOC developed in partnership with the Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF) at the World Bank Group, Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS), and the Georgetown University Initiative of Innovation, Development and Evaluation (gui2de), has been selected as one of the top 10 finalists for the 2022 edX Prize for Exceptional Contributions in Online Teaching and Learning. The prize recognizes exceptional educators for their innovative contributions to the learning community on the edX platform, a massive open online course provider. 

The goal of this course is for learners to understand how to assess the extent to which innovations and policies “work” to improve the lives of the most vulnerable. Professor William Jack’s course provides students with the statistical and experimental tools they need to answer an important question: how do you know if you’re making a difference? 

In this course, students are immersed in the learning experience through innovative and learner-centered approaches and materials. The lecture videos draw on carefully designed motion graphic animations on the one hand, and images and videos from the field on the other, to bring abstract statistical and economic concepts to life. And the viewer engaged and entertained on their way to acquiring a deep understanding of critical material for anyone who is serious about doing good.

The course has so far drawn a diverse group of more than 5,500 learners from 150 countries over its two iterations—many from low- and middle-income countries—highlighting the broad appeal and universal applicability and impact of the course to development scholars and practitioners around the world. 

Professor Jack, who currently serves as Georgetown’s Vice Provost for Research, said he wanted to develop this MOOC for a truly global audience because “teaching online allows me to reach students all over the world, to give them a glimpse of the way we teach at Georgetown, and a taste for a subject I believe is of universal and critical importance: how to measure the extent to which we are really improving the lives of the most vulnerable.”

Students’ feedback after taking the course was overwhelmingly positive:

“The design of the videos motivated me and even made learning fun. The course content communicates important information about the course subject and I found it very relatable because most of the examples were set in the Kenyan context.”

“Excellent course—it very clearly communicated difficult topics in a way that was engaging.”

“I found this course very useful. The instructor is a very good instructor; in my point of view he is the best instructor I have ever worked with. In addition, the visual materials are great.”

You can register for the Impact Evaluation MOOC for free on Check out the trailer below to see a preview of the course:

The Center for New Design in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) provided course design and video production support in the development of this course. You can learn more about how CNDLS’ Online Programs teams work with faculty and department leaders to develop online courses on our website, or you can always reach out to us directly with questions at If you are interested in other GeorgetownX MOOCs, you can find more details here.

This article was originally published by the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) at Georgetown University. Please follow the link to read the full story.