The primary function of massive open online courses (MOOCs) has been to make education more accessible to learners worldwide. But educators have long debated how those learners might use MOOCs as stepping stones into accredited degree programs. As a result, more institutions are creating ways for students to earn course credit for the MOOCs they complete. The latest is FutureLearn, the social learning platform owned by The Open University in the United Kingdom. It now will allow learners to take MOOCs for course credit toward degrees, including MBA programs, as well as professional qualifications and continuing professional development.
These MOOCs feature courses in 13 FutureLearn programs from nine institutions, including The Open University, the University of Leeds, the University of Birmingham, Middlesex University Business School, St. George’s University of London, the National STEM Learning Centre, and the British Council in the U.K.; and RMIT University and Queensland University of Technology in Australia.
Learners still can take these courses for free. To earn credit, however, they must complete all courses in a program; each program consists of two to eight short courses. Learners also must pass a final assessment and pay for certificates of achievement in each course. The cost for each certificate ranges from ￡39 to ￡79 (about US$50 to $100) per course. The courses available are worth up to 30 U.K. academic credits at FutureLearn’s partner institutions.
For a list of all eligible courses, visit www.futurelearn.com/programs.