MOOCs have gained a lot of exposure recently. For those wondering, MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course. Its a free online class that offers many of the same learning opportunities as some of the most popular distance learning institutions. People have been flocking to them recently as an inexpensive alternative to traditional colleges as well as tuition based online schools. Most in the educational world haven’t taken MOOCs seriously because one could not receive college credit for a completed course. That is about to change.
Coursera recently announced that The American Council on Education‘s College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT) has recommended that 5 Coursera courses receive consideration for college credit. This is a HUGE milestone. Over 2,000 colleges and Universities use ACE CREDIT recommendations when deciding whether to accept transfer credits. The only monetary investment one would need to make is $60 to $90 for the proctored exam and $30 to $99 for the Signature Track, according to Coursera.
So the inevitable question is what financial impact will this have in the higher education space? Is this just a mosquito bite on an elephant or is this the beginning of a major paradigm and educational landscape shift? We shall soon see.