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MIT To Expand Online Learning and Offer Certificates 96

Posted by Soulskill
from the expanding-the-internet-of-learning dept.
mikejuk writes "MIT has announced an online learning initiative that will offer its courses through a new interactive learning platform that will enable students to participate in simulated labs, interact with professors and other students and earn certificates. Is this just a reaction to the Stanford experiment in running courses complete with exams and informal statements of accomplishment? (The first AI course has just finished and the exam results are in.) If so let's hope it spurs other educational establishments to do the same!"
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MIT To Expand Online Learning and Offer Certificates

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  • by InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @02:28PM (#38438604)
    People are always ranting about RIAA/MPAA while what they should really be worrying about is lecture book publishers. Music and movies are just entertainment, but these book publishers are preventing education and others from learning.

    Book publishers are going to be crying about online learning and courses if they can't get their books required for them. They are already doing all kinds of shady monopoly deals and trying to hinder reselling of books by updating their course material almost every year, resulting in incompatible books for classes. I'm sure that if they cannot get their books forced in other ways, they're going to be doing some suing or forcing schools to shut down these online learning courses.

    I'm not sure why people cry so much about RIAA and MPAA when there is such an assholish industry preventing people from learning. That has real results on whole advancement of humankind.
    • by SJHillman (1966756) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @03:04PM (#38439046)
      There's plenty of articles about why textbooks are so expensive in the first place, ranging from the obvious (higher quality paper, colored pictures and graphs) to the less obvious (professors pay nothing so they don't care, students will just keep paying and never speak up). I paid a relatively modest $2,438.16 for textbooks over the course of a four year degree, of which I was able to resell most of them for $838.77. I did keep several books that I could have sold for another $150 or so. My first semester cost the most (in spite of having the fewest classes) and I was only able to resell one of the books for less than 10% of the purchase cost in spite of being in like-new condition. This was also the only semester that I bought and sold to/from the campus bookstore. Interestingly, my most expensive books were for accounting, microbiology, human resources, Visual Basic and astronomy. My core IT books were among the least expensive books to buy and yielded the biggest returns relative to purchase price (I resold several for a decent profit). I know my professors also re-used these books the most. And yes, I did keep a nice color-coded spreadsheet of every single book I bough and sold throughout college. For that amount of money, you'd have to be stupid to ignore the overall cost.
      • And how long ago did you go to school, hmm? These days its $100 per science/math textbook, MINIMUM, and they don't get reused. Lets see, 4 years, 2 of those sorts of classes per quarter... 2x4x4 = $3200 JUST ON MATH AND SCIENCE. Don't get me started on how many literature books I had to purchase for English/lit classes, nor the ~4 art books per design class which are usually >$50 each, nor the number of books I had to purchase for electives. I easily spent >$6000, or at least I would have if I didn't
      • by datavirtue (1104259) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @09:59PM (#38443794)

        I buy all of my books on Amazon and resell them for the same price (more sometimes). I refuse to deal with the college bookstore as it is the bastion of people who exercise poor financial planning. For most of the people I go to school with this formula a well guarded secret for some reason. Sometimes you can find the books even cheaper on eBay because, again, people do not realize that Amazon has them covered so they elect to sell on eBay where it is in fact a horrible place to sell books (limited market). Also, students get Amazon Prime (free) which means two day shipping for free with orders fulfilled by them. No, this isn't a shill for Amazon. It just happens to be a great service despite all the Amazon hate found on /.

        • I did a lot of my textbook buying/selling on Amazon. Unfortunately, there's always that one professor who insists on some special edition that can only be found in the school bookstore. I hate that guy. It usually seems to be business law professors too.
    • by PortHaven (242123) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @03:24PM (#38439338) Homepage

      Simpler reason actually...

      We endure buying useless books for 4 years. We listen to music and watch films for the rest of our lives.

      One has a great impact. We decry textbooks while students. But ceased to be concerned upon graduation as it passes.

      RIAA/MPAA is a persistent hemmoroid on the remainder of our lives.

    • I never attended high-school (I went to vocational school and then started my engineering studies) so I never got to study those interesting-sounding subjects like psychology and philosophy. Now that all the most famous universities have been putting their introductory courses online, I've watched quite a few of them.

      When I was watching Introduction to Psychology [academicearth.org] (Prof. Paul Bloom, Yale, extremely interesting and entertaining way to spend some 20-odd hours) I thought "Hell, I could actually do more than w

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      MIT has a long history (decade) of offering their entire courseware online for free:

      http://ocw.mit.edu/about/next-decade/ [mit.edu]

  • Meh (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @02:31PM (#38438654)

    University of Phoenix has been doing this for years.

    • Plus University > Institute.

    • by fropenn (1116699)
      Not for free.
    • University of Phoenix is a well marketed (read: recruiter attack) rip off. There are other universities that offer the same or better course work for a much better price. Why not go to a prestigious college like Oregon State University (large data center hosting OSS projects) for half the price? U of Phoenix has their prices set just right so your federal loans will just barely cover your tuition. In short, it is a joke--scam. I feel sorry for people when they tell me they are taking courses there, but I gu

      • I'll add to this:

        My assistant principal at the school I worked at decided to get his Master of Education from U of Phoenix. On occasions he asked me to proofread essays he was doing. Utter drivel, and badly written, and I told him so. He sent them anyway, then crowed about how the essays I had panned all received marks over 95%

        And we wonder why the education system doesn't work...

  • interesting times (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @02:37PM (#38438730)

    Since my day job is CS professor, these kinds of things aren't in my personal interest (unless I land a tenured job at MIT, which is unlikely :P), but I think they have considerable merit. CS, compared to other fields, is already a little bit ambivalent about degrees, and you can get some kinds of jobs by having alternate demonstrations of knowledge, like your Github "resume", or track record of participation in open-source projects. But a lot of companies worry that without a degree you'll lack some theoretical knowledge that will eventually bite you in the ass, because you didn't realize that something was a well-studied problem with an off-the-shelf solution you could've pulled out of one of Knuth's books and implemented, instead of rolling your own buggier, worse one (sometimes this is a founded fear, other times not).

    But the bar in many cases is not that high. Even when I've looked for people to work with on, say, a machine-learning project, what I want to know is that they're familiar with the basics of statistics, common techniques and gotchas, correct and incorrect methods of data analysis, etc. This is more likely if they have a degree with some statistics and/or ML courses, but I could see a certificate from a respected course of online instruction being enough to convince me of that, if they keep standards up and it's not easy to cheat.

    On the learner's side, it's a really interesting space of possibilities for mixing-and-matching your own education. Since these certificates seem to be much finer granularity than degree programs, if they proliferate and maintain quality, you could more realistically do interdisciplinary programs of study while still being able to prove that you mastered specific things.

    • Re:interesting times (Score:4, Interesting)

      by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @02:51PM (#38438890) Journal

      Since my day job is CS professor, these kinds of things aren't in my personal interest (unless I land a tenured job at MIT, which is unlikely :P), but I think they have considerable merit.

      It might actually be in your personal interest. Perhaps there's a possibility that some of your students will take these online courses to prep for your courses in the future. Plus, everyone is served by having a well educated society. How to help make that happen is a different thing...

      • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @02:57PM (#38438952)

        In a general sense of an educated society I agree, but I do think these kinds of courses will pose a significant challenge for CS programs outside the top 10. I don't think MIT and Stanford's online course offerings will be purely supplemental education taken in addition to a 4-year CS degree or by people who wouldn't have gotten one anyway, though there will also be some of that. I think they'll to some extent also displace some proportion of traditional CS education. Probably not a lot at first, but to the extent anything makes it easier to get a good tech job via a route other than a traditional 4-year CS degree, which is already possible but not super-easy, I think it may reduce enrollments in 4-year CS programs, especially outside the very top schools.

        Put differently, just in supply-and-demand terms, MIT and Stanford professors can now each fulfill a much larger portion of the demand for CS lectures, since they can lecture to students outside their classrooms. Unless the new audiences are 100% new audiences (i.e. they bring new demand for CS lectures in a 1:1 ratio to the demand-for-lectures that they fulfill), it'll reduce demand for lectures from non-MIT/Stanford professors.

        • Put differently, just in supply-and-demand terms, MIT and Stanford professors can now each fulfill a much larger portion of the demand for CS lectures, since they can lecture to students outside their classrooms. Unless the new audiences are 100% new audiences (i.e. they bring new demand for CS lectures in a 1:1 ratio to the demand-for-lectures that they fulfill), it'll reduce demand for lectures from non-MIT/Stanford professors.

          I'm a CS adjunct at a community college, I think my job is safe. :-D

          • But you actually teach computer science? Algorithms and patterns? Because at my community college they have a COMPSCI program that has NO algorithm studies at all. The students might as well just code in PHP.

            • But you actually teach computer science? Algorithms and patterns? Because at my community college they have a COMPSCI program that has NO algorithm studies at all. The students might as well just code in PHP.

              We have a programming logic course here that doesn't have any programming and discusses that stuff. I don't teach that course. But I do try to hit on things like different types of sorts, data structures, etc., even though I only teach programming languages.

      • I think this will be more convenient for those working people that would like to continue their education for it's own sake. The only thing that holds me back from taking courses I am simply interested in is time and scheduling. I think the class room environment is about more than learning a subject and would prefer the opportunity to interact and and share ideas with peers as well. The online experience is not going to provide that interaction and for a young person just starting their education I would r
    • by vlm (69642)

      Since these certificates seem to be much finer granularity than degree programs, if they proliferate

      WRT to granularity, I'd be happy if video support for the 10 year old OCW program proliferated beyond the 100 level courses.

      Some of the higher level class "OCW support" is kind of minimal. Some of the course pages are as minimal as a textbook and a schedule. I'm unimpressed. Here, let me provide you with the "/. discount special vlm CS certificate program" : "Knuth TAOCP, schedule, start on page one first book first day, end on last page last book last day. Also read some of Graham's lisp works. click

    • Of giving the skills need to do IT job's. People with theoretical knowledge / paper MSCE's lack real skills that are needed on the job and some times even in a CS they don't even cover a lot stuff that is covered in a tech school. Now with ambivalent about degrees why not have apprenticeships for IT jobs? or at least make them part of the tech schools. I talking about a REAL apprenticeships like how other skills jobs have them.

      • by Trepidity (597)

        Oddly enough, that's what Technical Institutes were intended to be, which is why they have a different name than University, which was more the classic lectures+reading style of education. A.N. Whitehead, better known for his philosophy but also somewhat of an educational theorist, was a big fan [anthonyflood.com] of that style of early-20th-century education.

        Schools like MIT, Georgia Tech, and even the rather evocatively named Colorado School of Mines have more or less converged to a university model of education, though, I'

        • by vlm (69642)

          I'd guess partly because disciplines got more and more complex to the point where there was significant theory (e.g. engineering today is more about mathematics and less about hands-on work with steel than it was in 1910), and partly for prestige reasons.

          Mostly financial reasons. My home town has a tech school, a state extension public U, and a tiny more than 150 year old psuedo-religious private U (psuedo-religious in that I attended for a year and it was religious in that you had to take "a" religion or philosophy class to graduate, but it was not religious in that it only grants doctor of divinity degrees)

          The tech school was affordable nearly full time on full time minimum wage and only offered per credit hour classes. The public extension U was about

        • Prestige. It was a migrations fueled by the faculty over the years. They wanted to be like a "traditional" university.

      • I dunno man, I think you're talking about "IT" work as it pertains to servers, switches, Microsoft certs, running cables, managing backups. You know, sysadmin stuff. Which tech schools can excel at. But the parent is talking about MIT's AI-classes, GIT-hub resume's, open-source projects, statistics, and machine-learning. Developer and software engineering stuff. They're different fields. And the theory side is vital for developers working on serious shit like machine learning. Less so for sysadmins. It's a
      • Of course it's theory; CS is literally the science of computation. It's not about engineering.

        Granted, getting good engineering out of software devs reveals a gaping education/training hole that needs to be addressed, but that is not Computer Science.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is sorely needed in the US in particular. I have watched a few documentaries on primary education here in the states, and needless to say, that unmitigated disaster is not going to be fixed anytime soon. So why not let people "pull themselves up by their bootstraps" and learn higher education themselves.

      There are a ton of people who don't do well in High School only to realize later that they want a better job. For the most part, we view those people as unfortunate and lost. We say they are ignoran

    • by scruffy (29773)
      That's my day job, too, but I think you should take a little more interest. The Stanford and MIT courses are significant steps toward the day when we get replaced.

      I don't think it will happen soon, but someday ...
    • It kills me how worried professors are about people cheating. It is tough to cheat without getting caught, and it is tough to progress in a field if you fudged your way through at some point. Let em cheat, but be vigilant. Where I work some students were overheard discussing their plans to cheat on a math test. The staff member who overheard went and told the teacher who curtailed their efforts and completely foiled their plans. Little did these students know (who were on a nursing path) they were silently

  • Somewhat misquoted (Score:5, Informative)

    by vlm (69642) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @02:39PM (#38438742)

    Somewhat misquoted

    MIT ... will enable students to ... earn certificates.

    http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/mitx-faq-1219 [mit.edu]

    Rather, MIT plans to create a not-for-profit body within the Institute that will offer certification for online learners of MIT coursework. That body will carry a distinct name to avoid confusion.

    So you'll get a cert from "Internet-U" stating you watched a video.

    BTW the OCW calculus video series rocks as a refresher course. HIGHLY recommended. I wish they had video for more than just their 100 level intro courses.

    • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @02:42PM (#38438784)

      I'd guess it's going to be somewhat in between "MIT Certification" and "Internet-U Certification". They're trying to walk a line of ensuring that the regular MIT degree programs are differentiated, while still leveraging the MIT name to distinguish the online course from just any random online course.

      • by StikyPad (445176) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @03:02PM (#38439024) Homepage

        Do the MIT courses have any testing or homework? I just completed the Standford ML class, and it was about as much work as a standard college course. I would imagine that a tested class would carry more weight than a certificate stating that you pressed play on n videos.

        Of course, I'd like to believe that the class I completed (and others) will mean something on my resume, but the application process is so streamlined these days that without a degree to make it through the initial filters, I'm skeptical that human eyes will ever see it.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Do the MIT courses have any testing or homework? I just completed the Standford ML class, and it was about as much work as a standard college course. I would imagine that a tested class would carry more weight than a certificate stating that you pressed play on n videos.

          As far as I can tell there's no info yet because it's all in the idea phase. The FAQ says they haven't even built anything. But I have to imagine they are watching the Stanford classes closely -- perhaps even quietly participating in them -- and that they will turn out similar.

      • I'd call it "Massachusetts Online Technology Learning: Earn Your Certification, Really Understand Electronics!" The classes would be full of Girls, Girls, Girls and would be taught by Dr. Feelgood. At the end of the day, we'd all be Smokin' In The Boys Room.
      • I... somewhat in between "MIT Certification" and "Internet-U Certification". They're trying to walk a line of ensuring that the regular MIT degree programs are differentiated, while still leveraging the MIT name to distinguish the online course from just any random online course.

        So when can we get degrees from an accredited university via online work? Or even course credit that is accepted by other accredited degree-granting schools (accepted either "at all" or "without jumping through extra hoops").

        I don

      • by gknoy (899301)

        I'm not sure I care as much about the certificate's prestige, but rather more that I can get a very good bit of instruction in areas which I am not very knowledgeable (statistics). Cool stuff.

    • by IANAAC (692242)

      So you'll get a cert from "Internet-U" stating you watched a video.

      Have you taken any of the classes currently offered by Open Courseware?

      I've only looked at a couple of the linguistics and foreign language courses, but there's definitely a lot more involved than watching a video. The courses I've seen are semester-length courses, with homework and exams.

      • by vlm (69642)

        I've downloaded and watched several of the video lecture series from OCW. The 100 level calc videos are awesome for light viewing as a refresher course. Needless to say I have not used calc in any form in the previous 20 years, but it all kind of comes back while having the videos on in the background.

        To the best of my knowledge, there is no "taking" or "signing up" there are just course pages, with syllabus, suggested readings, sample historical tests and answer keys, etc. Its not like taking a "real on

    • by tipo159 (1151047)

      So you'll get a cert from "Internet-U" stating you watched a video.

      And passed the homework and exams.

      I took the AI class. The video segments and fill-in-the-box quizzes, homework and exams mostly worked OK for the topic. I don't like that the textbook cost around $150; I didn't get the textbook because of the price. I did OK without it. Because of lack of time, I only took the 'Basic' class (just watch the videos), not the 'Advanced' class (homework and exams scored, class ranked afterward). I did complete homework and exams when I had time.

      The AI class got all o

  • by Detaer (562863) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @02:50PM (#38438876)
    I love it when the words stanford and experiment are used in a sentence, it gets so much better when the word prison is also added.
  • by ZombieBraintrust (1685608) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @03:00PM (#38438994)
    When are we getting college degree programs not tied to a campus. I want to enroll at Midwest States University. Take some courses at Illinois State some at the University of Kentucky, some at University of Tennessee, and graduate with a BA after 4 years.
    • I'm waiting for SUNY (NY's state university system) to pull together and offer SUNY degrees not tied to any specific campus. Plenty of SUNY schools offer online courses, but there's nothing that pulls courses from SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Albany, SUNY Brockport, SUNY IT, etc into one degree independent of an individual campus.
    • by IANAAC (692242)
      This has been going on to some degree for quite a while.

      I went to Hamline University in St. Paul, MN in the early 80s, and was able to take classes from 5 other area colleges that went toward my degree. Granted, all these colleges were private, but it's not a new concept.

    • by vlm (69642)

      When are we getting college degree programs not tied to a campus. I want to enroll at Midwest States University. Take some courses at Illinois State some at the University of Kentucky, some at University of Tennessee, and graduate with a BA after 4 years.

      You've just described my undergrad "career" or whatever you want to call it, although all different schools.

      Some places let anything transfer, some let you test out even if they won't categorically no-questions asked transfer, and some are rat bastards about forcing you to take certain specific classes at their school, sometimes no rhyme or reason. My advice, especially in this era of online education, is shop around.

      I had the privilege (?) of taking calculus in high school (didn't give a F, got C in retur

      • I am not talking about transferring credit. I have done that. It is a pain for anything not taken at a community college. I'm talking about an actual multi campus regional/national program. Something that turns classes into a commodity at similer schools.
  • by mikem170 (698970) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @03:01PM (#38439002) Homepage
    This is awesome. I remember hearing that India would be doing something like this with the Khan Academy youtube lectures. It was a way for them to educate more people.
  • by Okian Warrior (537106) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @03:07PM (#38439088) Homepage Journal

    It's interesting to see how the state of learning has changed in the last 10 years, and the pace of change is accelerating.

    Does anyone know why we study the subjects we do in high school? Mostly it's because the subjects are classical - things are studied because it's been that way since ancient times.

    Take geometry, for example. It's an important subject, but not nearly as useful to the average person as probability, yet we study one and not the other.

    Then there's the mode of teaching, several hundred years old, where the student sits quietly in a seat watching the lecturer write things on a board and explain them.

    Newer models have emerged. The Kahn academy still uses the lecturer/blackboard model, but improves it in many ways. The video can be viewed at a time of the student's choosing, parts can be rewound and replayed, and most importantly: the lectures can be improved by redoing them.

    The Stanford and MIT online courses are just another example of the changing landscape. The Stanford AI course had lots of technical problems that they were unprepared for - ambiguous English phrasing, uneven level of practice versus test, missing technical explanations, and so on.

    Despite the problems, they will get better. Indeed, they will get a lot better even the 2nd time they give the course.

    We're apparently watching a competition for "esteem" between the top end universities. The colleges are competing for clarity of presentation, comprehension, and usefulness of the data.

    In 10 years or so the traditional university model will be gone. There will be no need to go to college when all the standard subjects can be learned very well online, using methods which have evolved to present the material in the best possible way.

    It'll be fun to watch as this evolves over time.

    • The Stanford AI course had lots of technical problems that they were unprepared for - ambiguous English phrasing, uneven level of practice versus test, missing technical explanations, and so on.

      But the Machine Learning class was almost perfect. Incredibly clear, precise, complete and human-friendly explanations; gave a thorough treatment of real-world caveats, testing, debugging tips; wasn't so ridiculously focused on locking in grades; and all around a way better experience than the AI class (I took both). I have nothing but respect for Prof. Ng and his staff.

      There really was no excuse for the problems the AI class had in its teaching style, and those problems really didn't have anything to do

      • by emedq (2518408)
        I also took the Machine Learning class and completely agree, it was a great course. I have graduated in Computer Engineering around 3 years ago, and these courses are a very good way to learn new stuff after leaving university.
      • by emedq (2518408)
        Forgot to mention, the Machine Learning course and 15 others will be available in Jan/Feb 2012 at http://jan2012.ml-class.org/ [ml-class.org] . I'll definitely be taking one or two of them.
  • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @04:37PM (#38440442)

    Many universities don't actually compete as much as one would think at first - students have issues of geography and financial issues, among other things. When universities are available online, then they DO compete (with other universities online), and they then have to compete. Hopefully that will push them to improve the education they offer.

    This is also very empowering. Now any kid anywhere in the world who understands English can get access to education they could never dream of before. Things like this, and Khan Academy, could help pull the poorest areas of the planet out of the ruts they're stuck in, given enough time and support (and continued and expanded access to them).

    If you have clean water, food, shelter, medical care, and a reliable Internet connection, you have civilization.

  • by Timewasted (1731254) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @04:44PM (#38440554)
    I have hired (and later fired) people with an online education -- I am seriously skeptical of the quality of understanding obtained from taking online classes.

    While I agree that expanding the access to education is a great idea, there is no substitute for attending a brick-and-mortar university. Online courses and online lectures are a supplement to learning -- in the same sense that a text book and a lecturer is a supplement to learning. There are certain skills that you will only learn by living on your own; such as learning to balance your social life, classes, managing a schedule, and other activities. However, if you sit in your parent's house (or basement, like most /.'ers), these skills that will be missed; many of these skills are crucial for self-learning, which is required to successfully understand an online class.
    • Plenty of people sit in their parents basement all through college and have their parents do their homework, taxes, and chores.
    • What about people who don't live on campus, but just attend a college close to home?
      • That really depends on the student and the household. As long as the student and the parents are both working towards independence (maybe his/her own apartment the third or fourth year), this can work extremely well. Many of those same skills I mentioned before are still a part of this type of life-style, however, this is not the case for online learning.
  • by fantomas (94850) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @05:08PM (#38440900)

    MIT has discovered distance higher education learning? Welcome to 1969! Over here in the UK we've had high quality university level distance education since then [wikipedia.org] and distance learning offered online since the 1980s [wikipedia.org]. Currently it has over 200,000 distance learning students, many of whom use online environments as part of their learning. Perhaps though the concept of distance learning is not as advanced in the USA as in Europe?

    Can any US folks comment? what is the perception of distance and online learning in the US? Over here in the UK, and I believe Europe generally, the idea of doing an online degree is considered a valid method for people to undertake higher education if they cannot get to a university campus (work, family commitments, etc). The Open University is considered to be a high quality degree offering institution and regularly comes high in student satisfaction ratings. This institution offers different media for taking courses, but some of them are offered completely online and have done for some years. I"m suprised that "university offers online teaching' makes news.

    Curious - though I suppose it is newsworthy as MIT is such an august educational establishment. Interested to hear a US perspective on how distance and online higher education learning is perceived...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      In brief: Here in the US it's outrageously more expensive to get a degree online than it is to go to a traditional college. As far as the worth of the degrees, there's basically three levels: one from a top school, one from somewhere else, and, at the bottom, one from an unaccredited institution. Generally online degrees don't even specify that they were earned online, so if it's from a top school, it's just as presitigious. Some schools are known to be primarily online schools, but none of those are con

    • Could you elaborate to let us know if the UK University would also recognize the course done abroad for the credits the student should be getting for completing it?

  • As much as I respect MIT and their - unique for the time - OCW initiative, which is a major pillar of free online education along with the Khan Academy, the current MITx announcement oozes of "mee too":

    1. Timing: the seminal three Stanford courses just finished, and more than a dozen for early next year introduced
    2. Spring start: could mean anything between March and May; i.e. they were probably caught off-guard by the Stanford initiative
    3. No details announced: no list of courses, let alone lecturers' vide

  • mikejuk asked "Is this just a reaction to the Stanford experiment in running courses?"
    There are significant differences -- MIT's courses are geared to self study while Stanford's are tied to the on-campus class and schedule. MIT is also developing an open source delivery platform and certification will be done for a small fee by an independent organization. See: http://cis471.blogspot.com/2011/12/mits-online-classes-will-be-different.html [blogspot.com].
  • >earn certificates
    Problem here is , this is a new major market just like the slightly varied IT courses given.
    The universities around my house all got in on these night time IT courses to advance your training, yet did not even recognize these courses for credit....
    will these ecourse count for credit seeing as a University is giving them?

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