Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Foundation Course Sequences - a new paradigm for MOOCville?

In my last post I noted that the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton school is offering its first year courses, bundled into a package, on the Coursera platform.  This significant event suggests a new development in the MOOC space.

Phil Hill over at e-Literate notes today that MIT has joined Wharton in offering not just individual courses, but organized sequences of foundation courses in the MOOC format. 

The upshot is that learners can now gain access to organized courses of study, with certificates of completion, for free. Keep an eye on this development!   

MIT will offer the first of seven courses in its Foundations of Computer Science XSeries this fall on the edX platform.. Then one or more additional courses will be offered each semester. The entire sequence will be available by fall 2015. The three course sequence in Supply Chain Management will begin in the fall of 2014. 

For those concerned about security, MIT plans to implement an identity verification process starting in Spring 2014 that will prompt students to present government-issued identification before standing for exams.  

The concern with security - especially for course sequences - suggests that MOOC leaders anticipate the use of MOOC certificates in consequential decisions such as those by colleges accepting MOOCs for advanced standing, grad school admission committees, and employers.  

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