By Honah Liles
Is it time for MOOC 2.0? Those behind World Education University (WEU) think so. The free online university opened its virtual doors worldwide on February 1.
Scott Hines, WEU’s chief operating officer, doesn’t mind the comparison to MOOC providers such as Coursera, which he sees as great trail blazers. But he sees WEU as the next step in the evolutionary process of online learning.
“We really take that concept of a cohort-based MOOC and create what we call an on-demand MOOC, which is a self-paced, supported, independent study model,” he says.
Because WEU implements an independent study model, students can enroll, start, and complete courses at any time. Students can also submit transcripts from other institutions, provided they are notarized and translated into english by a third party institution such as the Association of International Credit Evaluators. The registrar’s office will then review the transcripts on a case-by-case basis. Hines says they are pretty open to accepting credits from other schools, as long as the institutions’ standards align with WEU’s. WEU grants degrees and certificates and is free, which Hines says sets them apart from other players in the world of MOOCs.
Hines and WEU’s other co-founder, Curtis Pickering, are both beneficiaries of free education—Hines from the Air Force Academy and Pickering from an athletic scholarship to Lewis and Clark University (Ore.). After meeting, they combined their mutual appreciation for free education with Pickering’s advertising background to brainstorm a sustainable business model for free education.
[ Full article available at University Business: http://www.universitybusiness.com/weu ]