AP Education Writer
(AP) – Nearly 2 million students could be a step closer to getting credit for their work in free, online classes, under an agreement announced Tuesday.
Mountain View, Calif.-based Coursera _ an online platform for about 200 classes from 34 universities such as Princeton, Duke and Stanford _ said the American Council on Education would begin evaluating about five Coursera classes initially for possible credit recommendations, and the number could grow. It would still be up to individual universities whether to grant credit to students who complete such classes, but a stamp of approval from ACE would likely go a long way toward persuading at least some U.S. institutions to do so.
ACE, which has a long history of evaluating various kinds of courses on behalf of universities, said the credit evaluation would be part of a broader effort financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to study so-called “Massive Online Open Courses” _ MOOCs _ and “answer questions about the disruptive potential of this new and innovative approach to higher education.”
To meet ACE requirements and ensure credit-seeking students are who they say they are, Coursera also said it would begin offering identity-verified and proctored online exams using webcams. And while taking the classes is free, students will also have to pay a yet-to-be-determined “modest fee” to qualify for the credit recommendation.
Coursera, founded by two Stanford University professors, is one of several high-profile efforts in which consortia of leading universities are making available online some of their best and most popular teaching. But only a small percentage of students who sign up for such classes are completing the coursework.
That’s partly because many students just want to learn and aren’t pursuing a degree or credential. But for those who do, there have been virtually no avenues for getting transferable credit from the MOOC courses. So far, that’s limited any potential for the MOOC movement to make higher education credentials more accessible and affordable.
Follow Justin Pope at
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- A preseason guide to avoid holiday weight gain
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck