Many years ago when the first MOOCs were being tested, I looked at them as another alternative to open learning options such as the OpenCourseWare model that MIT promoted or the more flexible and collaborative online offerings from Open University in the UK or Connexions (Carnegie Mellon) in the U.S.A. I knew that New Zealand (Otago Polytechnic??) had experimented with offering credits for some open courses but I hadn’t heard of anything in North America, except for places that offered certificates of completion.
I had heard that Coursera was exploring courses for credit using the MOOC-model; I’d also read some discussion about the possibility of offering low cost, entry level courses as “teasers” to entice people to take face-to-face courses at a particular institution.
I just got an email from Sebastian Thrun of Udacity (“Sign Up for an SJSU Plus Class This Summer”)voffering me the opportunity to earn transferable college credits from their partnership with San Jose State University – for the low cost of $150. I can take:
That price is less than I would pay to take an equivalent course at Yukon College – and it’s recognized across the state college system in the U.S. Now, if I were an international student, wouldn’t this kind of course make a lot of sense for me?
I’ve taken a free course from Udacity and been very impressed by the design and delivery (Intro to Physics). I’d say it was better than many of the courses I took as an undergrad (many years ago now).
So, watch out colleges and universities…MOOCs are changing the entry level landscape for students (and for instructors).