- Vice President Education and Operations TU Delft
- Former President of the OpenCourseWare Consortium
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Exactly one year ago I wrote about our Credits for MOOCs idea. What would it take to open up MOOCs to our campus students? The answer is credits of course. (See my blog of November 2015). I am happy to announce the start of our pilot. From this week on our students can join a number of MOOCs and get credits for them.
The first MOOCs for credits will be provided by TU Delft, University of Queensland, Australia National University, and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and they will start in February 2017. During the summer a broader variety of courses will be made available by universities such as Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Rice University. Other top 100 universities have said they are keen to join.
Why is this such an important step?
First of all because it will give students a much wider choice in their education. Because they will not only be able to take part in the MOOCs from their home university but also those of partner universities, students will be able to follow courses on topics their own university has no expertise in or courses on. The joint MOOC portfolio includes courses such as Astrophysics, Evidence-based Practice in Management, the Psychology of Criminal Justice, English Grammar and Style, Tying Quantum Knots, and Engineering: Building with Nature. For a complete list see: www.tudelft.nl/creditsformoocs
Secondly, it will make learning more flexible for students and provide them with a digital way to learn across borders, a virtual Erasmus Programme, if you will.
And this is the third reason why this project is so important. Exchange programmes so far have been live. A very interesting learning experience for students, but for many not possible due to time or financial constraints.
The reasons to do this were clear upfront, but there were several challenges to overcome before we could start, ranging from organising exams, dealing with different time zones and embedding each other’s MOOCs in our regular credit recognition. With the support and contributions from our online teachers, faculties, boards of examiners, administrators and partner universities we have created a route for virtual exchange. A route where not the student travels, but the course content and exam.
It is our ambition is to let this portfolio grow. We will keep you posted. In the meantime: students – join!