By Associated Press
The blurring between traditional universities and the new “Massive Open Online Courses” reached new levels Tuesday when Georgia Tech announced it will offer what it termed a first-of-its-kind computer science degree taught entirely over an open online platform.
Georgia Tech will charge about $7,000 for the master’s degree, even though the courses that lead to the degree are available to anyone for free through Udacity, a MOOC platform currently offering 26 courses taught by partners including Georgia Tech.
But while students can take MOOCs for free, only accredited universities like Georgia Tech can award credit and degrees for such coursework. Georgia Tech is betting that students will happily pay $7,000 for such a credential, given that the cost of the on-campus computer science master’s, or even the current online version of that degree, runs about three times higher than that for Georgia students, and between six and seven times higher for out-of-state and international students.
Students admitted to the program would receive services such as help and assessment not available to others taking the same Udacity courses. But some of those services would be provided by Udacity, not Georgia Tech staff and faculty.
Leading universities have provided the teaching for MOOCs, but so far, virtually all of Georgia Tech’s caliber have been reluctant to award credit for taking them, out of concern over standards, the credibility of assessments and potentially diluting the value of degrees they award through more traditional means.
[ Full article available at The Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/in-blurring-of-online-courses-traditional-georgia-tech-to-offer-full-open-online-masters/2013/05/14/6fed6eb2-bcea-11e2-b537-ab47f0325f7c_story.html ]