Colorado State Becomes the First American University to Accept MOOCs for Credit

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

Udasity and EdX have set up a system for proctored final exams for their Massive Open Online Courses. The NYT reports that Colorado State University has become the first institution to accept such a proctored courses for university credit.  The NYT reports that several European universities have already done so. Given that hundreds of thousands of people are taking MOOCs, expect more to follow.

Kevin Carey turned in an interesting report on the Silicon Valley higher-ed tech revolution for Washington Monthly.

Time to switch back to you, K-12 brain…

I’m starting to wonder whether the K-12 Reactionary and the Higher-Ed Revolutionary voices can continue to coexist peacefully inside Carey’s head, but I digress. Massive Open Online Courses are going to productively disrupt both higher education and K-12 while putting a great education at the fingertips of billions.

 

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5 Responses to Colorado State Becomes the First American University to Accept MOOCs for Credit

  1. Greg Forster says:

    WRT Kevin Carey’s internal contradictions: Never underestimate the extent to which people can go on forever assuming, in the teeth of all evidence to the contrary, that the laws that apply to all other human social behavior and institutions don’t apply to K-12.

    Just think of the vast cognitive dissonance this takes. If we could only harness that power! Our energy problems would be gone forever.

  2. allen says:

    I’m wondering at the motivations.

    It’s not at all clear what’s in it for higher ed to embrace techno-education.

    In an earlier time, before government subsidies overwhelmed the higher education market, the efficiency advantages of online education would have been more usefull since they would have unburdened the college’s budget of the need to deal with lots of freshmen many of whom would wash out. Now though those unfortunates are a pipeline to lots of money which would go away if they didn’t enroll in those entry-level classes.

    • Greg Forster says:

      But will that last forever? The people who see the bursting of the bubble coming and get out in front of it are going to end up a lot better off than those who think the taxpayer well is bottomless.

      • allen says:

        I think a better term’s got to be devised for the coming comeuppance of higher education. What’ll occur, whatever that is, isn’t going to be a bubble in the classis South-Sea-Dutch-Tulip sense. It’s just a different situation.

        No one’s going to be selling their overpriced degree to someone who hopes to turn it around at an even higher price so there’s not going to be the sort of postive feedback collapse in value that’s the hallmark of a speculative bubble.

        Not that I’m disagreeing with the premise of a collapse in the value of a brick-and-mortar degree, at least at the underclassman level. I think that’s clearly in the bag. But a degree isn’t just about acquiring knowledge. It’s also a signal that you’ve got the intelligence, tenacity and focus to get a degree which might be an indication that you can put those traits in the service of an employer. What will on-line degrees offer to serve that function?

  3. Matthew Ladner says:

    I don’t see any realistic way for higher ed to resist these changes. Hundreds of thousands of people are already taking MOOCs and the third party final exams solves the last big obstacle. Even if American universities fabricated some lame justification for not accepting the results, it would simply lead to a steady increase in Americans enrolling in European universities.

    Colorado State made a rational decision that will advantage them relative to tortoise institutions. Others will have to follow.

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