ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The University of Maryland University College announced Wednesday it will be the first in the state’s university system to create a path for students to earn academic credit for learning through “massive open online courses.”
The university is one of the nation’s largest public providers of online higher education with an enrollment of about 93,000 students.
It has decided to award credit for demonstrated learning from six massive online courses offered by Coursera and Udacity. The classes cover math and science, such as introduction to physics, pre-calculus, calculus and introduction to computer science. Students will have to demonstrate their competency of material through standardized exams taken in a test center.
“To us, a MOOC is just one more way that a student might learn something at the college level that we should help them get credit for if they can demonstrate that they have that knowledge,” said Marie Cini, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs for UMUC.
MOOCs are online courses that are designed to include tens of thousands of students. They started becoming popular more than a year ago to allow more students to sample elite college courses. Public higher education systems around the country have been incorporating them into their systems. But some experts say MOOCs can’t replace traditional classroom learning and face-to-face interaction.
[ Full article available at CBS DC: http://washington.cbslocal.com/2013/07/31/umuc-will-be-first-college-in-md-university-system-with-moocs/ ]