Posted by: crudbasher | April 20, 2010

How do you Credential Open Courseware?

I liked this post I saw yesterday from Will Richardson and he was musing about how to give people useful credit for taking Open Courseware classes.  I had two thoughts about this.

  1. Being able to give credit for Open Courseware classes is the same problem as creating accurate assessments in school today.  When a person graduates from college with a degree, what do employers really know about their skill set?  They have to take it on faith that the university won’t pass them without certain minimum standards.  This of course is enforced with the accreditation system.  People will pay a huge sum of money to learn stuff where an ever increasing amount can be learned independently.
  2. So what if we find a good way of assessing skill level and thus an alternate credentialing system?  Answer:  The current university model becomes obsolete.

Here’s my radical thought.  Right now, universities have record enrollments, and are making more money then they have ever before.  I think really though they are hanging by a thin, fraying thread.

  • Alternate means of credentialing grads

    tags: Education

    • an interesting look at the impact of open educational resources since the advent of MIT OpenCourseWare 10 years ago now.
    • But for those looking to credentialize the experience in some way, very few grades are  in the offing.
    • how do we credentialize informal learning
    • Neeru Paharia, one of the  founders of Peer 2 Peer University:
    • “Having a degree is a signal,” she says. “It’s a signal to employers that you’ve passed a certain bar.”
    • P2PU is working to come up with alternative signals that indicate to potential employers that an individual is a good thinker and has the skills he or she claims to have — maybe a written report or an online portfolio
    • how, right now, are schools helping students be self-directed participants in their own learning who are able to share openly the learning they do and connect with others to pursue that learning even further?

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


  1. I really like the idea of offering a different signal of credentials. To me, the current system leaves a lot to be desired. Half the time you are paying for a class that the professor doesn’t show up to. What is that? Right now all a college degree signals to me is that you paid a university for four or more years.

  2. I have been spending a lot of time lately thinking about the credentialing problem. It’s all part of my master plan of how education will eventually evolve. When I get some time I will write it all out!

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