Academic credit from MOOCs

Published On: 27 Sep 2013

 | Last Updated On: 17 Oct 2013

Academic Credit from MOOCThose of you who are interested in studying abroad must be aware of what academic credit is and how this system works. If you take up a regular on-campus course, you would never need to worry about the credits you earn and also you can transfer the same to other colleges in case you switch institutions.

MOOC on the other hand, is basically free and open to all and does not provide any academic credits if you take open courses. Quite surprisingly, early this year (2013) news was released that some of the colleges and universities in the US had agreed to grant credits to students who had passed a MOOC. It is a quite well known and an accepted fact across the world now, especially in USA that MOOC pass outs can claim their credits rights and use it for further education in an on-campus program. Almost all the states have started taking this matter seriously and are contemplating several issues.  However, it should be noted that to avail these credits, the MOOC students would need to pass the proctored exam, which comes with an additional fee. The best part of these proctored exams is that they cost one-tenth of a college degree.

Today, there are many colleges that offer to grant credits to students. The first of these was the Colorado State University-Global Campus that announced to accept MOOC pass outs to their programs granting those credits. Almost all the states in the USA are considering MOOC as an important teaching method now. The other universities that grant credits to students who have taken a MOOC and the proctored exam are:

  • University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing
  • Cleveland State University
  • Lamar University
  • University of Arkansas System
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of West Florida

Although there have been challenges in making everyone realize the importance of MOOCs, there will be a time soon when the  entire education system may divert to this new pedagogy and start considering the education earned through MOOCs same as a college or a university awarded degree.

The triumvirate of the providers of MOOC namely, Coursera, edX, and Udacity, are on a continuous growth track, offering new courses and putting in great effort by attracting collaborators and investors. Coursera recently raised US$43 million and plans to double in size by the end of 2013. Coursera has been able to generate close to US$1 million in revenue from its “Signature Track” program. This program offers users to take a proctored exam ‘verified’ certificate of achievement for the MOOC they have taken.

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