Online Learning Update

January 29, 2012

MIT Mints a Valuable New Form of OnLine Learning Academic Currency

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

by Kevin Carey, Chronicle of Higher Ed

There are also practical advantages for MIT in moving first. Already, the elite Indian Institutes of Technology has announced plans to join MIT’s open-education consortium. Building MITx on an open platform could make the university the global nexus of online higher education, which is the way most people are likely to access higher learning in the future. In the hunt for the best and brightest students around the globe, MIT won’t need to guess who’s in the top 1 percent of 1 percent—it can simply pick them out of the millions of students who will enroll in MITx. Meanwhile, it will be fascinating to watch MITx mint a brand-new form of academic currency. What happens when it enters circulation? Will other universities accept it as transfer credit, or employers as proof of skills? How will those credentials affect the fast-growing market for online credits and degrees, much of which is driven by the expensive for-profit sector? There is, of course, a great deal of work to be done before those plans are fully realized. University officials emphasize the need to monitor the results of the new classes to make sure the learning experience is up to par. Prices for students in impoverished regions will have to be worked out and protocols for minimizing fraud established.

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