MOOCs, the new Buzz in Education?

I was recently in a meeting where MOOCs were discussed and I found a few individuals who were not aware of this new phenomenon.

Never heard of a MOOC?  Nope, it’s not a cow with a cold… it stands for Massively Open Online Course (MOOC).    Still confused?  You’re not alone.

Massive – targeting large numbers of students

Open – anyone can enroll and there is no fee

Online – uses new web-based technology for delivering content

Course – activities for meeting a set of learning objectives

A number of independent projects or services for providing MOOCs have emerged over the last year and while they are managed in partnership with institutions of Higher Education, like Coursea which grew out of  Stanford University, they have also raised questions about the future of these institutions.

To learn more, check out Wikipedia.

However, you should know that MOOCs don’t provide college credit.  Yes, you can take and hopefully complete a MOOC and receive a certificate, but you will not receive any college credit for your work.  Or is that about to change?

In a recent article in The Chronicle, the American Council on Education is now recommending credits be given for individuals who successfully complete one of five MOOCs.

So, what might this mean to institutions like Washburn University?  Will it be disruptive?  Let us know what you think… if you care to post a comment. 🙂