This morning, Coursera, the "massively open online course" or MOOC platform founded by two Stanford professors, announced that they’d be partnering with ACE, the American Council on Education, to offer a path to college credit for select...
Starting early next year, anyone who successfully completes one of the selected Coursera courses will have the chance to take a proctored exam over the web from ACE, pay a small fee, and earn credit that could be accepted at up to 2,000 universities nationwide.The move comes in the midst of a struggle in the ed-tech movement over business models and openness. The issue is this: beginning with MIT’s Open CourseWare in 2001, the world’s greatest public and nonprofit universities started offering access to some of their professors’ lectures, notes, and other materials online for free. The stuff was under Creative Commons license, meaning anyone could use it or re-use it as they saw fit; but the material--45-minute, amateur-recorded lectures, years-old problem sets--often just sat there, as hard to find and underutilized as books moldering in the library stacks. That changed last January when Stanford’s open online AI course, based on short, snappy videos and quizzes, went viral, with over 200,000 signups. Enter the venture capitalists. That same educational material, funded by taxpayer money and private philanthropy, that used to be available to anyone for free is now being served on a platform that makes it easier to use, but places restrictions on its reuse and may have fees associated with it in the future. Now MOOCs may be very, very popular, but they’re not really open anymore.
Comment: no comment needed really. MOOCs may be massive and online, they are not open, as I noted earlier on November 11th: Coursera praises MOOC-wrapping as they attempt to ban it | Hapgood | Mike Caulfield, and on November 8th: At Educause, a discussion about OER | Inside Higher Ed | Steve Kolowich.
Via Clive Hilton