Friday, June 28, 2013

Fear The MOOC!

Universities are jumping into the MOOC pool with different degrees of enthusiasm.  A key tell here is the certificate.  Most MOOC courses offer some sort of certification for successful completion.  Given that these certificates are hardly useful for anything, that would seem a bit of a modest risk for issuer.  So far as I can tell, all edX courses seem to offer potential certification whereas Coursera courses are all over the map, from those linked to degree programs, to there so-called "Signature" line, to the hard line approach of Duke and Yale which is basically "if anybody asks, we never heard of you."

The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School goes one step further in their Financial Accounting course by pointedly noting:

However, no certificate will be given from Wharton / Penn and successful completion of this course does not make you a Wharton / Penn alumnus.

All I can say is that in the unlikely event that I took their course, I would make a point of claiming to be a Wharton / Penn student.

Yours sincerely,

A former Ga Tech, Berkeley, MIT student