Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

MIT To Expand Online Learning and Offer Certificates

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the expanding-the-internet-of-learning dept.

Education 96

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!"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

This will get lecture book publishers crying (4, Insightful)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:This will get lecture book publishers crying (5, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:This will get lecture book publishers crying (1)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | more than 2 years ago | (#38440676)

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 just stop purchasing books and borrow from other people because I couldn't afford them.

Re:This will get lecture book publishers crying (1)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | more than 2 years ago | (#38440712)

PS: My experience was 10 YEARS AGO.

Re:This will get lecture book publishers crying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38440820)

And it looks like his was last year: http://www.linkedin.com/in/sjhillman [linkedin.com]

Re:This will get lecture book publishers crying (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38441044)

And AC would be correct, I graduated in 2010. 1 YEARS AGO.

Re:This will get lecture book publishers crying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38444532)

once you get out of low level math classes the vast majority of textbooks are under $100.

Re:This will get lecture book publishers crying (3, Informative)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#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 /.

Re:This will get lecture book publishers crying (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38446664)

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.

they can still push HR to put MIT level as UOFP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38439118)

University of Phoenix is online + some class room.

Re:This will get lecture book publishers crying (3, Interesting)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 2 years ago | (#38439338)

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.

Quite the contrary, I believe (3, Interesting)

F69631 (2421974) | more than 2 years ago | (#38439636)

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 watch these lectures. I think I'll actually buy the book and read the recommended chapters!".

The course book costed something like 150+ dollars, which I thought was astounding but that actually wasn't the showstopper for me (I have a job and am quite prone to buying stuff on a whim in my sleep-deprivation induced mania). What made me pissed off was that they (=every store I could find by googling the book) didn't sell an electronic version of the book. What made me more pissed was that they clearly had electronic version: If I were to buy the physical book, I would get the PDF on CD with the book. There simply was no way of buying just the PDF (I would have been willing to accept DRM, to pay the full price, whatever... I just didn't want to wait a week, spend a phonecall arguing with customs officers, pay another 30 bucks for shipping, another 30 bucks of import taxes, etc. as is usually the case when I order stuff online).

In the end, I was annoyed that the stores selling the book could have made my life easier but had chosen not to, so I didn't buy the book. However, open courses like these cause large amounts of people like me to consider buying books that we never would have otherwise bought. If the industry can implement minor reforms to approach us a bit, I'm sure there's a lot of potential for more profit.

Re:This will get lecture book publishers crying (3, Insightful)

CrowdedBrainzzzsand9 (2000224) | more than 2 years ago | (#38441244)

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

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

Re:This will get lecture book publishers crying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38468360)

I see and mostly agree with your point, but entertainment IP law and scholarship IP law aren't a whole hill of beans different. Fight one side, fight both. There is much good headway done trying to protect the rights of artists and fans from being locked up in corporate strongholds that can almost be copied and pasted to educational works.

Meh (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38438654)

University of Phoenix has been doing this for years.

Re:Meh (2)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38438838)

Plus University > Institute.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38439456)

Errr... That's why many students from the university come on technical forums and ask other people how to do their homework? ;)

Re:Meh (1)

fropenn (1116699) | more than 2 years ago | (#38440980)

Not for free.

Re:Meh (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#38443846)

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 guess many must learn the hard way. I'm going to Miami University (on agreement with my community college) for half the price of that "school." For that money I could attend the University of Dayton--a real university.

Re:Meh (1)

ResidentSourcerer (1011469) | more than 2 years ago | (#38449412)

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 (5, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#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 (3, Interesting)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 2 years ago | (#38438890)

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...

Re:interesting times (4, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:interesting times (2)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 2 years ago | (#38439644)

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

Re:interesting times (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#38444018)

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.

Re:interesting times (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447766)

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.

Re:interesting times (1)

pr0fessor (1940368) | more than 2 years ago | (#38439060)

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 recommend the class room setting if reasonably possible.

Re:interesting times (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#38444026)

By peers you mean slack jawed drooling deer-in-the-headlights high school graduates?

Re:interesting times (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38438976)

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 here for your cert". I'm not demanding every course ever offered be videoed, but I'd like to see video of more than the intro classes. I can almost enumerate across OCW, openyale, and stanford online all the non-100 level classes with video lectures that exist .. lets see there is a decent thermodynamics video series, I guess we can count linear algebra and diffeqs as non-100 level, there is a decent crystallography video series oh and that roman architecture series is pretty decent ... thats about it?

In comparison I offer up Harvard's 5 foot shelf of classics, which has been available for about 100 years now, and no one has ever bothered to offer a certificate for it... I donno if a cert is "inevitable". (Note the 5 foot wall of classics and the fiction "wall" of two dozen or so volumes, is more or less how I ended up self educated, despite my formal education occasionally getting in the way)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_Classics [wikipedia.org]

CS is to much theory. Tech school is more on track (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38439212)

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.

Re:CS is to much theory. Tech school is more on tr (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38439404)

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'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.

Re:CS is to much theory. Tech school is more on tr (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38439614)

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 twice the cost per credit hour OR "full time" tuition at 12 or more credits cost the same as about 20 credits. The expensive little private U was about twice the cost per credit of the public U but "full time" tuition at 12 or more credits was bonkers crazy far over 20 individual credits something like $10K/semester after all the full time student fees last time I checked.

So you can quadruple your income by changing from a "tech school" to a "private university", roughly. And the govt will backstop all the loans, so there is no reason not to raise prices to the roof, once it changes from a "cash transaction" to a "long term govt guaranteed debt transaction".

Re:CS is to much theory. Tech school is more on tr (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#38444052)

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

Re:CS is to much theory. Tech school is more on tr (2)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 2 years ago | (#38440368)

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 also less vital for developers banging out yet another SQL report. Tech schools would suit a lot of business developers just fine.

As far as apprenticeships go, we have those. They're called interns.

Re:CS is to much theory. Tech school is more on tr (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#38444078)

Most Microsoft sysadmins couldn't script their way out of a paper bag.

Re:CS is to much theory. Tech school is more on tr (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#38441082)

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:interesting times (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38442092)

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 ignorant, but this is a fallacy.

People are smart, really really smart. If given the opportunity, many unfortunate folks would work really hard to improve their education and get a better job/career.

The Internet can help be the Great Equalizer in education, without putting people in $10-30k worth of debt.

Re:interesting times (1)

scruffy (29773) | more than 2 years ago | (#38443720)

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 ...

Re:interesting times (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#38443970)

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 flagged for rejection from their choice study program when the time came for them to apply.

I, as an engineering student, have little benefit from cheating on anything since I have to know and understand everything to progress. In addition, MOST student respect the path of learning and value their accomplishments so they will not cheat out pf principle. I have been given the opportunity to have "take home" math tests for my higher courses and it has proven very fruitful. It gives me more time to really live with the subject matter and get to know it (removes the stress and allows real learning). Although I could have cheated it never crossed my mind. Subsequently, many other students brought their "take home" tests back and failed them--even in the light of bombing out they didn't cheat either.

Further, it caused several of us to come together and discuss and teach one another. We specifically avoided giving each other answers to the test questions and instead focused on relaying the fundamentals. I realize this is different for advanced math courses since you can't really give a person the solutions unless you work it for them, but I wish more professors would relax and let students experience this level of learning even if they themselves were not afforded the same opportunity.

Re:interesting times (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38444858)

Things have changed since the 1980s. Profs may not care, but employers do. They care a LOT because HR people usually don't have STEM backgrounds so they just don't know what to look for. To them, it's the most logical way to filter applications. Moreover, the legal department encourages it because it limits their liability.

Part of the reason why countries like Norway have much more flexible economies is because their education system is free, so people can easily go back to school to gain new skills if the economy changes.

Somewhat misquoted (5, Informative)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Somewhat misquoted (4, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Somewhat misquoted (3, Insightful)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38439024)

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:Somewhat misquoted (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38440324)

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.

Re:Somewhat misquoted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38442568)

The (not-quite-)Stanford ML class was NOT as much work as a standard college course. It had almost as much content as a college course, but the *work* was practically negligible.

Re:Somewhat misquoted (0)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38439130)

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.

So when can we get degrees from accredited Us? (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38440178)

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't care if MIT wants to spin off a subsidiary with a distinct name and reputation if they think online students are enough iffier that they'd dilute the main brand. But for getting past modern HR departments you need the real thing to check the "degree X or foreign equivalent" box, and you need to check that box to keep the resume out of the round file.

Yes I know there are a few other universities that do offer such now. But MIT seems to be just dipping its toes in the water rather than jumping in. In the process they seem likely to reduce their "certification"'s usability to the wall decoration and hobbyist satisfaction level.

Some decades ago there were fine, prestigious, correspondence-schooling programs available for people living and working in remote areas who wanted to continue their education. Most of the people who built railroad steam engines, for instance, had degrees from the International Correspondence Schools (ICS - which still exists). The "electronic frontier" has many of the same characteristics - including especially people with remote locations, educational needs, and adequate communication to fulfill them IF suitable institutions exist to service them.

It's good that MIT is trying to fill the need - but it's unfortunate that they appear to be only playing at it.

HR also misses out on good tech workers by degrees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38442988)

only and even then cutting out tech schools?? Like some how CS gives you better skills to do a tech job then a tech school does hell lean on job can be even better.

Do you only want a plumbers and electricians that have 4 years in a theory based class room (with some or little real work skills) or do want some who went to a voc / apprenticeship?

The tech feed has big parts that should be done in apprenticeships way.

Re:Somewhat misquoted (2)

gknoy (899301) | more than 2 years ago | (#38440302)

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.

Re:Somewhat misquoted (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 2 years ago | (#38439164)

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.

Re:Somewhat misquoted (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38439494)

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 online course" with a fixed schedule and having forced graded discussion groups and locally proctored exams (been there, done that, as "real" online for credit undergrad classes). At least as far as I've seen over the past few years (OCW is a decade old now)

Re:Somewhat misquoted (2)

tipo159 (1151047) | more than 2 years ago | (#38439408)

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 of the press, but there was also a Machine Learning class and another class for something else (can't remember what) as well.

Re:Somewhat misquoted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38439724)

Introduction to Databases.

I thought it was interesting that, by the end of the courses, Machine Learning and Databases converged on map-reduce.

Re:Somewhat misquoted (1)

RebelWithoutAClue (578771) | more than 2 years ago | (#38439730)

Databases. db-class.org [db-class.org]

Re:Somewhat misquoted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38568754)

I bought the AI textbook for something like £40 which is a bit over $60 at the current exchange rates, surely you must have been able to find it cheaper than $150. But in any case I didn't use it much, the topics often weren't explained any clearer in the book, although it did go into more depth than the videos the videos did present pretty much all the information you needed anyway, so there wasn't a lot of benefit from it. Hopefully I will find some time to go through the book and learn some of the other stuff in it.

Stanford experiment? (4, Funny)

Detaer (562863) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Stanford experiment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38439010)

I have a raging Stanford in my pants.

Meh (2)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Meh (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38439170)

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.

Re:Meh (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 2 years ago | (#38439462)

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.

Re:Meh (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38440040)

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 return, actually not bad for doing nothing but show up), at a 4 year college that I hated I got a B for both semesters, at a tech school for an associates degree I got perfect As, in fact the prof joked that I wrote the answer key for several exams. Was not permitted transfer credit or testing out for calc anywhere except my final degree granting online school (lakeland.edu), thank god I didn't have to take calc a fourth time, although it probably would have been pretty easy. On the other hand, I took a boring philosophy 101 class at the 4-year and every school I ever went to gave me credit for it. Also got credit everywhere for my public speaking associates class and my sociology class. Generally the fluffier the class the most likely they'll transfer it, and the more "hard science" the less likely they'll give credit.

Also testing out is easy if you know the stuff, but they made it a PITA, perhaps they only offer 2 testing sessions per semester total, and you've got ten classes you think you can skip... Even worse some schools only allow you to test out of a certain number of credits... So you could probably test out of 10 classes, but that would take 5 semesters or about 3 years, and they only permit 32 credits or 8 classes worth of "testing out", which would still take at least one and a third years assuming 3 semesters per year, and easy "A" never hurt anyones GPA, so ... Lets just say I found Early American History pretty easy the second time around.

You can safely assume they will require you to spend at least one year at your graduating school, regardless how many specific or general credits you get.

Re:Meh (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38440470)

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.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38445780)

You can get a degree from a non-campus school. It's called Western Governors University, board of regents is held be the 19 Western States governors that helped found the school. Completely non-profit, rubric designed courses that actually encourage you to LEARN (verses just memorize and regurgitate). I love WGU, and yes, I'm an Alum. I've also worked at a top public school, and the amount of prejudice that exists in Academia and in the world writ large against any form of "new" learning is amazing. People will look for any reason to make themselves feel better, I suppose.

Khan Academy (2)

mikem170 (698970) | more than 2 years ago | (#38439002)

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.

Education comes out of the dark ages (4, Insightful)

Okian Warrior (537106) | more than 2 years ago | (#38439088)

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.

Re:Education comes out of the dark ages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38439306)

Coming from an MIT student, the education you get is more than just the classes, especially in the sciences. The collaborative experience is something that's hard to overcome, and the personal friendships I have built have truly been some of the strongest.

Even Will Hunting realized you could learn the technical material if you really wanted to by picking up the book at your local library.

Re:Education comes out of the dark ages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38439754)

> the personal friendships I have built have truly been some of the strongest.

yes, mind you that's not a particular quality of MIT, that's what you get in general having people entrenched, pardon the expression, with some odd number of other students for the better part of their early adult life.... Personally I don't see the need to sit in a room full of people to learn something new, my preference is to learn by myself, much less annoying this way ;-)

Re:Education comes out of the dark ages (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38439914)

Agreed. The social experience of college is useful, but not to the degree that a person will be less qualified by forgoing it; just less well rounded. In fact, the social aspect can hinder people who focus on it to the detriment of their studies. Not that I would know anything about that... Ha.

Re:Education comes out of the dark ages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38440066)

> the personal friendships I have built have truly been some of the strongest.

yes, mind you that's not a particular quality of MIT, that's what you get in general having people entrenched, pardon the expression, with some odd number of other students for the better part of their early adult life.... Personally I don't see the need to sit in a room full of people to learn something new, my preference is to learn by myself, much less annoying this way ;-)

I'm not arguing that you don't necessary learn the material better with other people (I don't go to lectures that are recorded or have really good lecture notes, for example). But working on projects/homework with other people is really really useful, and often teaches me more than the lecture notes/videos/readings do. I agree that the blackboard style of lecturing is largely broken, except when it's done really well. For example, my algorithms professor was probably one of the best lecturers I have had because he made you think in class and asked questions (that you couldn't answer without understanding) and made you follow along, and I'm not sure I would have learned the same amount by just watching the lectures on my computer

On the other hand, I much prefer to watch the linear algebra lectures on my computer because the professor does not have the afformentioned qualities, and the benefits I gain by pausing the video and understanding a concept when I am stuck or watching it in 1.5 speed much outweighs physically being there.

I am in no way against online schools or courses (especially for people who already left "education"), but I think as a child/teenager/young adult, there is a lot more to gain from school than just the education (and I'm not just talking about the friendships, but just the sheer diversity of people and stuff you've been exposed to). Plus, college is just fun (even at MIT), and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Re:Education comes out of the dark ages (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#38440846)

This experience is fine when you're student-age, but things change once you're a working professional adult who seeks to increase their own understanding for things they're already doing for real. Having well-presented information that's tangibly useful, instead of having to perform lots of self-learning to have it sink in, is exactly what fits the bill.

Many educators seek to create some sort of "community of education" around a student lifestyle, instead of offering direct quality knowledge to experienced customers.

Re:Education comes out of the dark ages (1)

Ritchie70 (860516) | more than 2 years ago | (#38444978)

I took the Stanford database course and it filled in a lot of blanks for me. I'd never had any formal training in databases but have picked up bits and pieces as I figured out how to do stuff (or asked my brilliant wife how to do something.)

Having a schedule and a grade at the end forced me to do it (once i put it on my development plan at work.) And I'm sure work liked it being free.

It was definitely more productive for me than if I'd gone and taken the typical corporate 2-day training class.

Re:Education comes out of the dark ages (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450268)

I agree, a lot of the corporate training stuff is not that helpful; it's often too condensed into a continual barrage of nearly-opaque info. Having online courses like this is a great balance between such problems and those of a university setting. (I took the Stanford AI and ML classes)

Re:Education comes out of the dark ages (2)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#38440724)

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 with the technology.

Re:Education comes out of the dark ages (1)

emedq (2518408) | more than 2 years ago | (#38446444)

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.

Re:Education comes out of the dark ages (1)

emedq (2518408) | more than 2 years ago | (#38446484)

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.

Re:Education comes out of the dark ages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38440876)

As it is right now, that won't be the case. We already have online education: it costs significantly more than going to a traditional university, and you miss out on the social experience. It will be interesting to see how far these types of free, crowd-sourced initiatives go in changing education, however. It may replace some lower level education eventually, but for the foreseeable future the current trend is here to stay.

A related and more significant problem is addressing the current system of job candidate differentiation, which I think will get worse with these developments. My sister-in-law has a master's degree and works as a swim coach. My cousin has a master's degree and works at Giant Eagle. This is no good, but as access to higher education becomes easier, I think we'll start to see this more and more. In fact, this might just delay the solution: with the current trend, education will be too expensive for anybody but the richest people, and companies will have to lower their hiring standards. If we start seeing free stuff like this catch on, then more people will be able to afford it for longer.

Maybe, ideally, eventually we'll be able to get to a point where, instead of going to college right away, high school graduates earn certificates like this, and companies will start hiring those who complete a particular subset of them as interns or for probationary periods. And then maybe, if necessary, the company can offer tuition reimbursement for getting a degree.

Re:Education comes out of the dark ages (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#38440952)

University education is about personal enrichment and beyond-the-industry research, not job training. The current western world remains confused about this, with employers who think a degree means the applicant automatically has good on-the-job capabilities (especially in computing), and students thinking a piece of very expensive paper is a magic life betterment token (correlation is not causation).

Tech / vocational / schools / apprenticeships are (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38443550)

Job training but HR does not see it that way and you end up with people with beyond-the-industry research who some times are clueless in doing real work.

I say we need more apprenticeships and tech schools. Tech works should have to schools with big sports teams / theory loaded classes to get a JOB or have a good in the eyes of HR "education".

Re:Education comes out of the dark ages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38443224)

> 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.

      Actually, this is pretty much what the pundits were saying 30 years ago in the days of Plato, but it did not happen. Not that that ensures that it won't happen this time, but ... "all the standard subjects can be learned very well" from books, and that hasn't resulted in most people feeling "no need to go to college" either.
      The real issue is and will remain the status of the credential, and that one really is a threat to 3rd-rate universities. Also the ability to meet people who will be in a position to help each other out later. That one doesn't seem likely to develop on-line either.

this could help improve education (2)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Online education - really? (3, Insightful)

Timewasted (1731254) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Online education - really? (2)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38440790)

Plenty of people sit in their parents basement all through college and have their parents do their homework, taxes, and chores.

Re:Online education - really? (1)

tommeke100 (755660) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450882)

What about people who don't live on campus, but just attend a college close to home?

Re:Online education - really? (1)

Timewasted (1731254) | more than 2 years ago | (#38463642)

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.

Welcome to the 1980s, MIT! (3, Informative)

fantomas (94850) | more than 2 years ago | (#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...

Re:Welcome to the 1980s, MIT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38441338)

This is a very optimistic view of the Open University. This university is actually looked down at by the traditional brick and mortar universities - try getting into a postgraduate science programme at Imperial after the OU. Also, in Computing the courses are way too vocational, there is very little actual 'computer science' in them.

Re:Welcome to the 1980s, MIT! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38441398)

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 considered top schools.

MITs coursware is free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38441648)

> I"m suprised that "university offers online teaching' makes news.

They are scaling up their offering of free materials. Those materials are made available for anyone to use.School such as Open University could at some time use them in their classes and charge a fee for the grading, answering questions, etc.

Re:Welcome to the 1980s, MIT! (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447368)

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?

Re:Welcome to the 1980s, MIT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38452506)

Well, not just in the US - we have had high quality under graduate and graduate level distance learning since 1972:

Thomas Edison State College
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Edison_State_College/ [wikipedia.org]
http://www.tesc.edu/index.php/ [tesc.edu]

From the wikipedia article:

The college offers 20 associate, bachelor's and master's degrees in more than 100 areas of study[5] to its more than 18,700 students in every state in the United States and more than 70 countries around the world. These programs are based in Thomas Edison State Collegeâ(TM)s five schools.

No substance in the announcement (1)

robi5 (1261542) | more than 2 years ago | (#38441484)

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' videos; only a lot of disclaimers that make it look half-hearted

Comparing the recent Stanford classes (I did 2 out of 3) with the OCW courses (I did some of those too):
A. It's refreshing that half an hour of a lecture isn't spent on minutiae interesting for on-campus students
B. The certificate is valuable in and of itself, but we do it for the knowledge, and the constant quizzes, homeworks and especially the programming exercises put us on rails and made us continuously engaged, while the OCW courses feel like abandonware in comparison, as if you were eavesdropping (no personalization whatsoever; very erratically available video and course materials; lots of image removals due to copyright)
C. Interestingly the Stanford courses felt amateurish from a technical production standpoint; e.g. low quality yellowish webcam filming Andrew Ng (who was the most prepared lecturer); only left-ear sound in one series of AI vids; limitations (and differences) of the video playback tools; often very imprecise or confusing wording on the AI class; the filming of white note papers, which seemed inferior and idiosyncratic next to the digital blackboard with Khan Academy).
D. The Stanford videos were often very inspirational: while Andrew Ng gave the most thorough and consistent education, Sebastian Thrun was very inspiring especially when showing DARPA challenge videos (what the car "sees") and when demonstrating particle filters.

So kudos for MIT for OCW, though its persisting limits and lack of serious cultivation gave takeover opportunities to incumbents such as the Khan Academy and the Stanford courses. Hopefully they'll try to leapfrog those who leapfrogged them.

Re:No substance in the announcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38446210)

I've passed the AI, DB & followed the beginning of ML courses.

The Intro to Databases was ok technically, I haven't noticed any problems with the videos and I found the teacher (Jennifer Widom) quite good.

The tool used for the exercises (different from quizzes) was great: it allowed you to tests your SQL, DTD, XML, etc. on a real server and compare your result to an expected result. This was GREAT. Seeing your result for real is much better than just filling a box and hoping your solution works. On the other hand, some of the exercises were gratuitously convoluted and made me go "grrr". But all in all, it was a very sucessful experience.

ML was good also, though I could only follow the first half (not enough time to do the 3 concurrently).

In comparison with DB & ML, the AI class was quite disappointing from a technical point of view: sound problems, too often the video had lighting issues, etc. And the explanations in some units were not that clear. The quality ranged from very good to bad.

about the certificates themselves . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38444646)

I hope MIT takes a different route than Stanford did when it comes to the certificates themselves. Stanford's name and faculty are all over the pages for the first two rounds of their free online class initiative. So what do the final certificates look like?

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0Bx3-ENTZVGxxZTBkZGFjNGYtNmQwMC00NmYyLTgyYWMtZmE4YjZiN2Y0YWU5&hl=en_US

That's . . . dissapointing.

MIT and Stanford courses are different (1)

lpress (707742) | more than 2 years ago | (#38445612)

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] .

Problem is... (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447352)

>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?

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?