We like Kevin Cary's line, "It doesn't make any sense."
"If you walk up to an employer or graduate school with a diploma or official note (transcript) certifying your credit accumulation, it gets treated like currency. Not quite as good as specie issued by the U.S. Treasury (colleges prefer you buy your credits from them, not someone else), but the underlying assumption is that your credits are probably good, particularly if they come from a regionally accredited institution.
Whereas if you walk in with a piece of paper or an email from Sebastian Thrun saying ”the bearer has completed the following course of study in artificial intelligence and has passed the following assessments resulting in X class rank,” people wouldn’t really know what to do with that. The underlying assumption is that you can’t transfer it to another college or redeem it for a credential or otherwise do any of the things with it that college credits are good for.
If you stop and think about that for just a minute, you’ll realize it doesn’t make any sense."
Via Society for College and University Planning (SCUP), Keith Hampson PhD