Any student racking up college debt would be thrilled to know they could receive college credit for a MOOC class, which is free of charge. This is what Colorado State University-Global Campus offered last fall. The student would only pay $89, for a proctored exam, a tiny fraction of the $1,050 Colorado State charges for one course. So, there were too many students signing up right? Nope, not one student took advantage of this opportunity.
When MOOCs were introduced, educators were hesitant of their value. After investigation, they saw that the courses were extremely useful, especially to money conscience students. Now almost a year has passed and no takers at Global Campus.
The Council of Adult and Experiential Learning (LearningCounts Program for freelance adult students) anticipated requests from students for credit on MOOC courses; primarily when MOOCs were gaining popularity. Chari Leader Kelley, vice president of LearningCounts stated that no one has asked about receiving credit for courses from the major MOOC providers; edX, Coursera, and Udacity. The council has already discussed willingness to grant such credits, but has not yet widely announced this amenity directly to their student body.
Now lawmakers in California and Florida are planning to pass bills that would force their state institutions to give students credit for specific MOOC courses. Making way for universities and massive open online courses to work collaboratively, while reaching a broader audience of learners. This relationship could open many opportunities for the future of online education. Universities in these states seem receptive to the idea, as long as they remain in control of approving MOOCs that count toward credits.
The American Council of Education, advisors of college polices, already suggested four courses from Coursera and four courses from Udacity that, if passed, should be granted credit worthy.
The increase of positive feedback from prestige education councils has many other universities wanting in on the action. Ray Schroeder, associate vice chancellor for online learning at the University of Illinois, has taken deep interest in the plan and assisted seven colleges who are willing to award credit for MOOCs. Mr. Schroeder said, ” we expect to see a number of students at those universities who will be receiving credit for the fall term.”
Expectations in the beginning are low, but predicting fast-growing numbers once skeptical bystanders join in. Those who have a desire to learn and are apprehensive about college studies can now take advantage of university level courses at no cost.