University of Washington will be the first university to put a fee in some of the online courses it offers. The University announced this soon after joining Coursera- a company promoting and assisting social entrepreneurship. The University will put a fee on only some of the courses offered through Coursera.
Washington University currently offers two free courses on the site. Sources from Washington University informed that the two free courses offered in Cousera by the University are Scientific computing and information security and risk management in context. Over 2500 students signed in to take these courses on the first day.
It is still being contemplated whether students taking the fee-based courses will be offered credit or certificates from Washington University. However, The fee will be similar to certificate programs and credit courses offered in Washington University. The fees on certificate courses will in general range from $2000 to $5000 for a three-course series. The students will be able to communicate online with the instructors and will be taking monitored exams. Washington University is also planning to offer a program in applied mathematics on the free courses it is offering in Coursera. The classes may be available during the academic year of 2012-2013.
Coursera offers over a hundred MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and is a huge open online learning program. It was started by two computer science professors from Stanford University. 12 more universities joined the partnership with Coursera earlier this week and the number of courses offered increased from 43 to 111. The number of private and public universities participating in the program also increased to 16 from 12.
Coursera offers its courses through online materials organized into parts. Interactive quizzes, short video segments and other activities are presented to students make it easier for them to study the subjects.
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