"The American Council on Education (ACE) has agreed to review a handful of free online courses offered by elite universities and may recommend that other colleges grant credit for them.
The move could lead to a world in which many students graduate from traditional colleges faster by taking self-guided courses on the side, taught free by professors from Stanford University, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and other well-known colleges." from source http://chronicle.com/
NOTE: This article is interesting in that it not only describes the rationale and process that The American Council on Education (ACE) will use to evaluate Coursera a Massive Open Online Course provider, but it also describes other related activities. Among those include funding from the Gates Foundation for similar evaluations. This is a quick and worthwhile read.