Making online education count

It is often pointed out that the recent crop of online courses are not credit-bearing. A thought-provoking piece on Inside Higher Ed offers one solution to this problem by pointing out a path that students can soon take to receive college credit for expertise they gain online.

Summarized, their plan reads roughly as follows:

  1. The student completes classes online and receives non-credit certificates.
  2. These certificates get added to the student’s learning portfolio.
  3. An expert at the student’s academic institution looks at this portfolio and assigns suitable credits.

This is fairly obvious solution to the problem, but perhaps we’ll soon get to a point where the conversion between “online certificate” and “college credit” will be automatic (or not necesssary!).