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Learning Badges

Well I may not end up with a philosophy degree from an established institution by the time this Degree of Freedom project is completed.  But I do expect that shiny Philosopher badge you see above to arrive by e-mail any day. That badge was actually earned by contributing a certain amount of work in my […]

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The MOOC Gorilla

When I started an economic discussion of MOOCs and what they’re worth, I anticipated someone would bring up the two-ton-ape economic controversy surrounding free online college-level courses: their impact on the traditional academy. I didn’t anticipate that this would coincide with yesterday’s story regarding the high-profile refusal of the Philosophy Department at San Jose University […]

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What’s a MOOC Worth?

If you look at how we pay for college using the “per-credit” economic model I described yesterday (one that divides annual tuition by the number of courses taken per year to arrive at what we’ll pay for each credit in a traditional college environment), then we end up confronting some challenging questions. For if we peg […]

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Highest Value

It dawned on me that, in addition to learning all kinds of things about online education in the process of taking 32 courses in twelve months, I’m also being exposed to a wide range of ideas in those classes that might provide insight into the phenomena being dissected on this blog. Which means that every […]

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The MOOC Credit Paradox

This might need to be a short posting, given that I’m in the midst of that multi-tasking that I recommend students never do while working on something important.  But as I write this, one of the two suspects in last Monday’s Marathon bombing is at large, and last seen a couple of towns over tossing […]

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Independent Educational Portfolios

Continuing the subject I ended with last time (“What is college for?”), traditional answers to that question include: College is a time for intellectual exploration (and even indulgence) College offers young people a rite of passage between the end of adolescence and young adulthood Completion of a college degree provides a credential that can be […]

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College Credit by Exam

Continuing the discussion of how to make online learning count towards actual degree credits, the ACE accreditation service I described yesterday provides colleges and universities the means to judge whether a course taken by one institution (or taken online) is equivalent to a course taken locally. And as I mentioned in that posting, ACE approves […]

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ACEing College

One of things that motivated me to blog about this subject was a recognition that that the conversation about the MOOC phenomenon seemed to be getting ahead of itself, with too much discussion of how MOOCs might replace traditional college informed by too little end-user experience regarding the actual level of learning associated with taking […]

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Questions and Communication

I’ve received a number of questions, both in the comments section and through the Contact form, and while it’s still manageable to do so, I’m going to try to reserve time on Fridays to answer as many of these as I can. The first one came from commenter Steve who wondered if I will be […]

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MOOC vs. iTunes: Auditing vs. “Taking” Classes

In a traditional college setting, there is a distinction between taking a class (which includes fulfilling all course requirements) and simply auditing it (i.e., just sitting through the lectures).  In the world of MOOCs and other free online classes, however, this difference is not so clear. For most “brick-and-mortar” (and even online) degree-granting colleges and […]

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