Today, the American Council on Education, the leading umbrella group for higher education, and Coursera, a Silicon Valley provider of massive open online courses (MOOCs), announced a pilot project to determine whether some MOOC offerings are similar enough to traditional college courses that they should be eligible for credit. The council’s credit evaluation process will begin early next year, using faculty teams to assess how much students who successfully complete Coursera MOOCs have learned. Students who want to take the free classes for credit would have to pay a fee to take an identity-verified, proctored exam. If the faculty team deems the course worthy of academic credit, students who do well could pay for a transcript to submit to the college of their choice. Colleges are not required to accept those credits, but similar transcripts are already accepted by 2,000 U.S. colleges and universities for training courses offered by the military or by employers.
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