MOOCs Approved for Credit, but Who Cares?

Sara Peters, Editor in Chief | 2/16/2013 | 22 comments

Sara Peters
The American Council on Education (ACE) has recommended that students be able to earn college credit for four of the massive open online courses (MOOCs) offered by Coursera. (ACE also recommended that a fifth Coursera class be eligible for vocational school credit.)

Yet some of the universities that have created those approved courses are ignoring ACE's advice and won't even give students credit for taking their own Coursera classes.

One of the ACE-approved classes is Calculus: Single Variable, created by the University of Pennsylvania's professor Robert Ghrist -- a class that the university is particularly proud of. Last month, I spoke to Ed Rock, director of open-course initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania, for my E2 post, "Massive Open Online Courses Improve Higher Ed." Rock gave the calculus course the highest praise, also stating: "Once [Ghrist has] prepared a Coursera course, he doesn't go back to teaching calculus the same way."

Nevertheless, Rock told The New York Times that Penn will not be offering college credit for completion of the online course. He continues to view MOOCs less as college classes, and more like Advanced Placement tests.

Students at other universities, however, may have better luck. More than 2,000 higher-ed institutions (including Penn) are part of the ACE network, using ACE's College Credit Recommendation Service when deciding whether or not to issue credit for classes and exams "taken outside of traditional degree programs."

That's good news for students who are looking for some more affordable ways to earn a degree. However, although a person can take any of Coursera's MOOCs for free, they will need to spend some money if they want a university to accept it for credit.

First, they must enroll for the course's "signature track" -- the regular price of the Penn calculus is currently listed as $99, with a discounted introductory price of $49. The reason for paying for the signature track is so that you can earn a certificate of completion -- Coursera verifies a student's progress through the use of biometric authentication.

Once a student has completed the signature track Coursera class, they can then earn the ACE-approved credits by taking an online proctored exam -- which costs an additional $79.

Nevertheless, the ACE seal of approval might encourage more MOOC students to pay for the signature track, and that's great news for Coursera, which has been surviving on the generosity of patient investors while struggling to figure out how to bring in revenue.

What do you think? Last month, some of you said that you wouldn't bother taking any MOOCs unless they were for-credit. Will you now take a second look at those classes?

Education CIOs, if your provost comes asking for your opinion, what will you say? Are you convinced that Coursera's biometric authentication system and proctored online exam sufficiently prevents cheating? Let us know in the comments below.

View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
batye   MOOCs Approved for Credit, But Who Cares?   3/3/2013 9:58:16 PM
Re: more alternatives the better
yes interesting and great point. Sara...

but if we look at the program CLEP - clep.collegeboard.org/

before it was a great resistance, but now it get accepted in Unv. and Colleges for a credit...

giving credit for what student already know - would potentially attract more students to this institution willing to give credit...
impactnow   MOOCs Approved for Credit, But Who Cares?   2/21/2013 7:09:26 PM
Putting your credit where your courses are
If universities truly believe in the value of online education they should offer credit for the courses even if the fee needs to be applied for additional costs. I would still take a class for no credit but I have an MBA and would be interested in furthering my learning in some new areas.
Salik   MOOCs Approved for Credit, But Who Cares?   2/21/2013 2:10:30 PM
Re: more alternatives the better
That shall be great Sara. :)

One more thing I am unsure of, how does universities benefit from providing credits for each online course the students take?
Sara Peters   MOOCs Approved for Credit, But Who Cares?   2/21/2013 1:24:42 PM
Re: more alternatives the better
@Salik  That limit, if there is one, would be set by each school individually. It's possible that state schools might be influenced by state governments' departments of education and Ivy League schools might be influenced by the Ivy League. I'm afraid I don't know anything more specific than that right now, but I'll look into it for you. More info to come, hopefully!
Sara Peters   MOOCs Approved for Credit, But Who Cares?   2/21/2013 1:21:08 PM
Re: more alternatives the better
@Syerita  Yeah, at the very least I think the schools that offer the classes should accept credits for them. I'm very interested to see what happens next. Will universities start giving credit for those classes, and if so, will the schools that created them be persuaded to do so?
Syerita Turner   MOOCs Approved for Credit, But Who Cares?   2/21/2013 8:44:47 AM
Re: more alternatives the better
In my opinion, I think that they should give credit for the courses. If they are so highly regarded then why not. Students work so hard for these grades and then to tell them that they are not getting any credit for it is really disheartening. I think that colleges need to look at taking credits from other sources because just as they have a class so do other places. Be a little bit more open-minded.
Salik   MOOCs Approved for Credit, But Who Cares?   2/20/2013 10:56:34 PM
Re: more alternatives the better
@Sara, that is exactly what I was asking. How many online courses/MOOCs at max does a university allow students to take? Is there any restriction on the limitations? 
Sara Peters   MOOCs Approved for Credit, But Who Cares?   2/20/2013 2:45:02 PM
Re: Hard to have traditional universities to accept this credit
@sohaibmassood @singlemud  Yes, I think that a MOOC student would have to decide from the very beginning that they're going to cheat on the final exam, and ask the person who's going to take the final for them to provide their own biometric data when the student first signs up for the class. 
Sara Peters   MOOCs Approved for Credit, But Who Cares?   2/20/2013 2:24:10 PM
Johnny Football Taking All Online
On a related note, Heisman Trophy-winner Johnny Manziel (AKA Johnny Football) is taking ALL of his courses at Texas A&M online this semester. Apparently there were too many fellow students asking for his autograph...

Check it out: http://espn.go.com/blog/sec/post/_/id/60869/johnny-football-going-online-this-spring
Sara Peters   MOOCs Approved for Credit, But Who Cares?   2/20/2013 2:20:42 PM
Re: more alternatives the better
@Salik  I'm not sure I understand your question here. There isn't a limit to how many Coursera courses a person can take at once. But did you mean you wonder if universities put a limit on how many online courses / MOOCs a student can take?
Page 1 / 3   >   >>


The blogs and comments posted on EnterpriseEfficiency.com do not reflect the views of TechWeb, EnterpriseEfficiency.com, or its sponsors. EnterpriseEfficiency.com, TechWeb, and its sponsors do not assume responsibility for any comments, claims, or opinions made by authors and bloggers. They are no substitute for your own research and should not be relied upon for trading or any other purpose.

More Blogs from Sara Peters
Sara Peters   4/10/2014   18 comments
The race is on to restore trust in the very security tools that are used to ensure online trust. Websites, applications, and services are hastening to patch Heartbleed, a flaw in the ...
Sara Peters   4/4/2014   13 comments
Tablets are becoming more affordable all the time, but they're not so inexpensive that you wouldn't worry if kindergartners treated them with the same care they treat construction paper ...
Sara Peters   4/3/2014   11 comments
As entertainment technology continues to make the game-time experience for couch-riding sports fans better and better, all sports teams are looking for new ways to encourage fans to buy ...
Sara Peters   3/27/2014   18 comments
Today at E2 sister site Information Week, Robert Atkinson wrote an excellent column titled "Tech Fear-Mongering Must Stop."
Sara Peters   3/26/2014   40 comments
It's official: The music industry -- the hapless, hopeless, wretched thing that it is -- has allowed digital media to ruin music.
Latest Archived Broadcast
We talk with Bernard Golden about accelerating application delivery in the cloud.
On-demand Video with Chat
Register for this video discussion to learn how tablets can provide true business usability and productivity.
4/23/2014 - Dell Compellent performance and features make it an outstanding storage platform for SQL Server. Register for this webinar now.
E2 IT Migration Zones
IT Migration Zone - UK
Why PowerShell Is Important
Reduce the Windows 8 Footprint for VDI
Rethinking Storage Management
IT Migration Zone - FR
SQL Server : 240 To de mémoire flash pour votre data warehouse
Quand Office vient booster les revenus Cloud et Android de Microsoft
Windows Phone : Nokia veut davantage d'applications (et les utilisateurs aussi)
IT Migration Zone - DE
Cloud Computing: Warum Unternehmen trotz NSA auf die „private“ Wolke setzen sollten
Cloud Computing bleibt Wachstumsmarkt – Windows Azure ist Vorreiter
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Enterprise Efficiency Twitter Feed
Site Moderators Wanted
Enterprise Efficiency is looking for engaged readers to moderate the message boards on this site. Engage in high-IQ conversations with IT industry leaders; earn kudos and perks. Interested? E-mail:
moderators@enterpriseefficiency.com
Dell's Efficiency Modeling Tool
The major problem facing the CIO is how to measure the effectiveness of the IT department. Learn how Dell’s Efficiency Modeling Tool gives the CIO two clear, powerful numbers: Efficiency Quotient and Impact Quotient. These numbers can be transforma¬tive not only to the department, but to the entire enterprise.

Read the full report
The State of Enterprise Efficiency in the Virtual Era: Virtualization – Smart Approaches to Maximize Gains
Virtualization is a presence in nearly all enterprise data centers. But not all companies are using it to its best effect. Learn the common characteristics of success, what barriers companies face, and how to get the most from your efforts.

Read the full report
Informed CIO: Dollars & Sense: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
Cut through the VDI hype and get the full picture -- including ROI and the impact on your Data Center -- to make an informed decision about your virtual desktop infrastructure deployments.

Read the full report
SPONSORED BY DELL
CASE STUDIES
EBOOKS
PUBLIC SECTOR RESOURCES
VIDEOS
WHITE PAPERS
WINDOWS SERVER 2012 RESOURCES
A Video Case Study – Translational Genomics Research Institute
e2 Video


On the Case
TGen IT: Where We're Going Next

7|11|12   |   08:12   |   10 comments


Now that TGen has broken new ground in genomic research by using Dell's storage, cloud, and high-performance computing solutions, the company discusses what will come next for it and for personalized medicine.
On the Case
Better Care Through Better Communications

6|6|12   |   02:24   |   12 comments


The achievements of the TGen/Dell project could improve how all people receive healthcare, because they are creating ways to improve end-to-end communication of medical data.
On the Case
TGen IT: Where We Are Now

5|15|12   |   06:58   |   5 comments


TGen is breaking new ground in genomic research by using Dell's storage, cloud, and high-performance computing solutions.
On the Case
TGen IT: Where We Were

4|27|12   |   06:45   |   10 comments


The Translational Genomics Research Institute wanted to save lives, but its efforts were hobbled by immense computing challenges related to collecting, processing, sharing, and storing enormous amounts of data.
On the Case
1,200% Faster

4|18|12   |   02:27   |   12 comments


Through their partnership, Dell and TGen have increased the speed of TGen’s medical research by 1,200 percent.
On the Case
IT May Improve Children's Chances of Survival

4|17|12   |   02:12   |   8 comments


IT is helping medical researchers reach breakthroughs in a way and pace never seen before.
On the Case
Medical Advances in the Cloud

4|10|12   |   1:25   |   5 comments


TGen and Dell are pushing the boundaries of computing, and harnessing the power of the cloud to improve healthcare.
On the Case
TGen: Living the Mission

4|9|12   |   2:25   |   3 comments


TGen's CIO puts the organizational mission at the heart of everything the IT staff does.
On the Case
TGen Speeding Up Biomedical Research to Save More Lives

4|5|12   |   1:59   |   8 comments


The Translational Genomics Research Institute is revamping its computing to improve speed, storage, and collaboration – and, most importantly, to save lives.
On the Case
Computing Power Helping to Save Children's Lives

3|28|12   |   2:13   |   3 comments


The Translational Genomics Institute’s partnership with Dell is enabling them to treat kids with neuroblastoma more quickly and save more lives.
Tom Nolle
The Big Reason to Use Office

3|18|14   |   02:24   |   16 comments


Office and personal productivity tools come in a first-class and coach flavor set, but what makes the difference is primarily little things that most users won't encounter. What's the big issue in using something other than Office, and can you get around it?
E2 Editors
SPONSORED: Mobile Security — A Use Case

3|4|14   |   04:27   |   6 comments


New mobile security solutions can accommodate a wide array of needs, including those of a complex university environment.
Tom Nolle
Killing Net Neutrality Might Save You Money

1|16|14   |   2:13   |   11 comments


The DC Court of Appeals voided most of the Neutrality Order, and whatever it might mean for the Internet overall, it might mean better and cheaper Internet VPNs for businesses.
Tom Nolle
The Internet of Everythinguseful

1|10|14   |   2:18   |   19 comments


We really don't want an "Internet of Everything" but even building an Internet of Everythinguseful means setting some ground rules to insure there's value in the process and that costs and risks are minimized.
Tom Nolle
Maturing Google Chrome

12|30|13   |   2.18   |   25 comments


Google's Chrome OS has a lot of potential value and a lot of recent press, but it still needs something to make it more than a thin client. It needs cloud integration, it needs extended APIs via web services, and it needs to suck it up and support a hard drive.
Sara Peters
No More Cookie-Cutter IT

12|23|13   |   03.58   |   21 comments


Creating the right combination of technology, people, and processes for your IT organization is a lot like baking Christmas cookies.
Sara Peters
Smart Wigs Not a Smart Idea

12|5|13   |   3:01   |   46 comments


Sony is seeking a patent for wigs that contain computing devices.
Tom Nolle
Cloud in the Wild

12|4|13   |   02:23   |   15 comments


On a recent African trip I saw examples of the value of the cloud in developing nations, for educational and community development programs. We could build on this, but not only in developing economies, because these same programs are often under-supported even in first-world countries.
E2 Editors
SPONSORED: Is Malware Evading Your IPS?

11|18|13   |   03:16   |   4 comments


Intrusion prevention software is supposed to detect and block malware intrusions, but clever malware authors can evade your IPS in these five main ways.
Sara Peters
Where Have All the Mentors Gone?

9|27|13   |   3:15   |   38 comments


A good professional mentor can change your life for the better... but where do you find one?
Tom Nolle
SDN Wars & You Could Win

9|17|13   |   2:10   |   5 comments


VMware's debate with Cisco on SDN might finally create a fusion between an SDN view that's all about software and another that's all about network equipment. That would be good for every enterprise considering the cloud and SDN.
Ivan Schneider
The Future of the Smart Watch

9|12|13   |   3:19   |   39 comments


Wearing a bulky, oversized watch is good training for the next phase in wristwatches: the Internet-enabled, connected watch. Why the smartphone-tethered connected watch makes sense, plus Ivan demos an entirely new concept for the "smart watch."
Tom Nolle
Cutting Your Cloud Storage Costs

9|4|13   |   2:06   |   3 comments


Cloud storage costs are determined primarily by the rate at which files are changed and the possibility of concurrent access/update. If you can structure your storage use to optimize these factors you can cut costs, perhaps to zero.
Sara Peters
Do CIOs Need an IT Background?

8|29|13   |   2:11   |   23 comments


Most of the CIOs interviewed in the How to Become a CIO series did not start their careers as IT professionals. So is an IT background essential?
Ivan Schneider
The Internet Loves Birthdays

8|27|13   |   3:25   |   69 comments


The Internet has evolved into a machine for drumming up a chorus of "Happy Birthday" messages, from family, friends, friends of friends who you added on Facebook, random people that you circled on G+, and increasingly, automated bots. Enough already.