Mr. MOOC Comes to Washington

Paul Fain over at Inside Higher ED has a piece on Monday’s  U.S. Department of Education meeting focused on efficiency in granting college degrees and credentials.  Among the 150 A-listers from higher education were a number of members of the new disruptive force in higher education, the purveyors of massively open online courses (MOOCs).

According to Fain: “Urgency is building around productivity in higher education, however. And online learning is helping drive that urgency, several participants said, in part because many elite universities are now in the game with massive open online courses (MOOCs).”

Once again the discussion of MOOCs turns to competency-based education and prior learning assessment.  Along with providing credit for taking these courses through an accredited institution, these are the issues that have to be resolved before a sustainable model for MOOCs can be developed.  Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said the DOE is open to competency-based programs, prior learning assessment and contributions from MOOCs.  However, he reminded everyone that credentials issued by non traditional (outside of the academy) remain “an unproven concept.”

The whole piece is here.

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.

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