Coursera to Offer Verified Certificates for Students
2012 was undoubtedly the year of the MOOCs, with millions flocking to websites such as Coursera and Udacity to participate in courses offered by some of the grandest universities in the world.
For those that haven't come across MOOC sites yet, they are websites that offer free online courses on a wide range of topics from some of the best universities in the world. They have proven hugely popular, with the Coursera record seeing nearly 2 million people register for a single course.
Being free however, a question mark has lingered over how the sites, and indeed the universities that support them, will make money. Earlier this year edX revealed that they will be offering end of course exams at Pearson VUE centres, so that students could certify the knowledge they'd gained.
Coursera have announced a similar plan this week. They will be offering students verified certificates to prove that they have completed their courses.
“It offers students a better way to show off their work,” said co-founder Andrew Ng. “It’s for job seekers and people who think it might be useful – if you think you might be looking for a job ten years from now … You can show a potential employer that you can complete these courses offered by the top schools.”
The new feature is called Signature Track, and will be available on a course by course basis, with costs ranging from $30 to $100.
If students use the feature, they'll be asked to provide a photo of themselves together with a form of identification to help create a biometric profile.
Then when students complete an assignment, Coursera will try and match the keystrokes of the students to make sure they are who they say they are, and a 3rd party has not been doing the assignments for them.
Assuming they successfully complete the course, students will receive an electronic certificate from the school and Coursera, and they’ll be able to share a detailed record of their course performance with anyone online.
These certificates will not count towards degrees, but Coursera is working with the American Council on Education (ACE) and credit equivalency for its courses is on the horizon.
Will you seek to get certified for your MOOC studies?