MOOC2Degree: A Step towards Successful Disruption
Shortly after Academic Partnerships announced the launch of MOOC2Degree, news of the initiative spread through Twitter and reached national news providers and the blogs of higher education thought leaders. MOOC2Degree, an initiative that converts the first course of an online program into a credit-bearing MOOC (massive open online course), allows potential students to try out online learning for free. Among the mentions MOOC2Degree received, the New York Times released an article, Public Universities to Offer Free Online Classes for Credit, emphasizing that MOOC2Degree offers credits to qualifying students, unlike many top-ranking institutions participating in similar free-first-course programs. Further distinguishing MOOC2Degree from other revenue-driven MOOC initiatives, one of the MOOC Founding Fathers Stephen Downes “especially agree[ed]” with eLiterate’s Phil Hill, who acknowledges the program’s mission:
“Randy Best, founder and chairman of Academic Partnerships, said that the real megatrend is not the emergence of MOOCs, but rather the move to universal, affordable access to education. This populist view runs contrary to 2U, Coursera, Udacity and edX, all of which target elite universities, betting that their brands and faculty are important to attract large numbers of students…”
Emerging EdTech also nodded to Randy Best’s goal of making MOOCs more inclusive, indicating that although many MOOCs have been offered by private universities like Princeton and Stanford, MOOC2Degree fosters inclusion by providing public institutions the opportunity to offer students the MOOC option. And in response to Academic Partnership’s “innovative twist” in the MOOC landscape, Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School professor and disruptive innovation expert, claimed that MOOC2Degree is positioned for creating successful disruption in the higher education market. The MOOC2Degree initiative is the successful result of true collaboration between the universities and Academic Partnerships. Academic Partnerships is proud of this effort and looks forward to increasing access to education. Click here to see the full interview with Randy Best, and click here to read more information on MOOC2Degree.