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Blog // Connect Michigan

Free Online Courses Gaining Popularity and Certification Potential

By Wil Payton

Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, are all the rage in the education technology arena. Free online courses have attracted thousands of learners worldwide during the past year.

Thirty-three prominent schools have signed on with Coursera, a leading MOOC provider. Many more colleges and universities are exploring ways to leverage courses at their institutions.

The latest MOOC trend is certification. Users are looking to document course completion to augment their professional credentials. Below is an excerpt from a Washington Post article detailing the evolution of MOOC certification initiatives:

For less than $100, a student who takes a class in genetics and evolution from Duke University on a MOOC platform called Coursera — and agrees to submit to identity-verification screening — could earn a “verified certificate” for passing the course, under an initiative to be announced Wednesday.

For $95, a student in an online circuits and electronics class affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology through the MOOC platform edX will be able to take a proctored exam this month at one of thousands of test sites around the world and earn a certificate. Proctored exams are also being given for users of a MOOC platform called Udacity.

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