Online Learning Update

October 18, 2012

Global Online Learning: Proposed Governmental Role

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:01 am

by Michael Kirst, Stanford University

In spite of this richness of opportunities, students find it difficult to aggregate or “stack up” their personal array of courses from various providers so as to obtain a degree/certificate in recognition of their overall attainment. An array of perfectly solid courses taken online may have less labor market value than courses offered by a recognized traditional college. It is difficult for students to transfer online courses taken at one institution to another one. Articulation agreements for course transfer between postsecondary institutions are haphazard and incoherent. Governments should therefore create and enable systems to help students aggregate online courses and programs obtained from different providers. At the same time, nations need to collaborate in establishing quality assurance for combinations of online and traditional courses from multiple suppliers as well as appropriate metrics for the mutual recognition and transfer of credit (as in the case of the European Credit Transfer System [ECTS]). One alternative would be for governments to establish criteria and standards for exams that students must take after the completion of online courses and programs of study, and to make those criteria nationally and internationally known. Two examples are the Collegiate Learning Assessment in the USA and the UK Open University.

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