Georgia State Takes Major Step Toward Developing Online Course Learning Option

Georgia State University is paving the way for students to receive class credit for taking massively open online courses (MOOCs) under a newly adopted university policy.

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Andrea Jones
Associate Vice President for Public Relations and Marketing Communications

A policy adopted this week by the University Senate encourages colleges and departments within Georgia State to develop means of granting credit for MOOCs that students have taken at other institutions. Students will work through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and academic departments to establish they have mastered the course material.

A MOOC is a course that is entirely online and open to anyone with no admissions requirements. MOOCs have attracted large numbers of users around the world.

Georgia State is among the first universities to experiment with granting credit for MOOCs. Antioch University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Colorado State University’s Global Campus and the Free University of Berlin, Germany, are among early adopters of MOOCs.

“The landscape in higher education is changing and Georgia State University is at the forefront,” said President Mark Becker. “We want to leverage every educational tool available to help our students achieve success.”

The policy is effective immediately.

“This represents a decision by Georgia State to consider MOOC courses in the way we consider every other course — whether they provide a good education for our students,” said George Rainbolt, professor of philosophy and chair of the University Senate Committee on Admissions and Standards.

The university already grants course credits to students who take university-vetted examinations, such as the Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams. The university also accepts course credits earned through traditional classes from accredited institutions after evaluation by Georgia State.

The new policy helps Georgia State advance a strategic plan goal of becoming a national model for undergraduate education by demonstrating that students from all backgrounds can achieve academic and career success at high rates.

Jan. 22, 2013