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MOOCs Team up with LinkedIn


In an effort to make MOOCs a more serious credential, providers are looking to create the kinds of for-credit courses that employers will take seriously, and LinkedIn wants in. Yesterday LinkedIn reported that it is partnering with Coursera, Udacity and EdX, along with some lesser-known MOOC platforms, to create “Direct-to-Profile certifications,” which appear as an official credential on the profile of users who complete a course. As Silicon Valley Business Journal notes, both sides have something to gain from this deal:

MOOCs have a good reason to play with LinkedIn. Their student completion rates are naggingly low among the thousands (sometimes tens or hundreds of thousands) of students that simply sign up for, and then don’t finish, a course. A recent analysis by a PhD student studying online education found that, on average, only about 7 percent of users completed 29 MOOCs that were analyzed.

At the moment, college degrees continue to be the key to getting a good job, but even minor steps like this suggest that MOOCs are slowly becoming more meaningful as an alternative or supplement. It’s refreshing to see that these companies are thinking creatively about how to improve and make their product more relevant.

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  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    This is significant, as certification is all about the jobs. The rigor and discipline, of on-line classes will be improved, and completion rates will be as well. The problem with on-line classes is the ease with which the student can procrastinate. Frequent homework requirements with deadlines, and quizzes and tests, as well as tuition that will be lost if requirements are not met, and the student is automatically ejected, and has to start over and pay again. In this way a student can study faster, but some minimum daily and weekly requirements will discipline the student to keep working when interest and curiosity no longer motivate continued study.

  • Bruno_Behrend

    Linked In is perfectly positioned to become a clearing house for every individual’s educational attainment.

    Imagine that instead of having two opaque consortia (PARCC and SBAC) controlling the testing of ALL children, we have each child enroll in a Linked In Portfolio Manager that tracks their education attainment?

    Instead of 2-3 high stakes tests, the child can move at their own pace and build up credits and/or “knowledge badges” for what they learned?

    Linked In could (absent a single piece of legislation) simply become the clearing house for an “exchange” of tests submitted by 100s or 1000s of content assessment quizzes and tests.

    This could smash the current education and testing paradigm.

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