Georgia State University plans to give students credit for taking free online courses that are taught by other colleges.
The University Senate approved the new policy last week and although many details still need to be worked out, this action allows Georgia State to enter the growing market of massively open online courses (MOOCs).
The MOOC movement has boomed over the past year as more than 2 million students worldwide have signed up for the classes. Georgia Tech and Emory University teach these courses through Coursera, the largest of the MOOC providers.
Georgia State won’t enter the MOOC market, but President Mark Becker said the university needs to be at the forefront of this movement.
“We want to leverage every educational tool available to help our students achieve success,” Becker said in a statement.
Several colleges nationwide are exploring how improved technology can be used to operate more efficiently and lower the cost of a degree. National groups are working to assess quality and award credit for these classes.
Georgia State plans to treat MOOCs just like other courses when students transfer to the college from another school. Students will work through the admissions office and academic departments to prove they mastered the MOOC material. Faculty and others will evaluate the classes to make sure they meet Georgia State standards.
Just like other transfer credits, students would not have to pay for them and there would be limits on how many credits students would receive.