Antioch University is now the first U.S. institution to offer college credit for certain Coursera MOOCs. This is big news for the desired direction that online higher education wishes to take; the chance to offer actual accreditation from taking in massive open online courses.
I’ve heard before of institutions offering courses online through Coursera or Udacity and then allowing tuition-paying students to receive credit, but this is the first time I’ve heard of a university accepting Coursera courses in the same manner one might transfer credit from a community college to a state college.
The move is especially designed to assist the needs of adult learners who may have had to forgo college degree completion in lieu of raising a family or pursuing a career. The MOOC is an opportunity for such individuals to develop an education, and now Antioch is offering real, no-BS course credit for it. Sounds like a great development.
Earlier this month, Antioch launched a MOOC pilot program which allowed students to enroll in two Coursera courses developed by the University of Pennsylvania. Antioch is interested in launching three additional courses starting next January, and an expanded nationwide program sometime in 2013.
In a press release on Antioch’s site, Tex Boggs, president of AULA said:
“Antioch University values and nurtures an innovative, reflective, and experiential approach to educational excellence and, to that end, we are excited about having this groundbreaking opportunity to work with Coursera to provide students with even greater benefits from the unique learning opportunity offered by the Coursera MOOCs. Coursera provides an unprecedented opportunity, for both nontraditional and traditional students, to access rigorous higher education courses at a time and place that is convenient to them. By working closely with Coursera and their university partners, Antioch University Los Angeles will offer to those who choose to enroll in Coursera MOOCs an opportunity to earn university credit at an affordable cost.”