MIT wants to up the ante on the certification of free courses. Starting next spring, the university, already famous for its OpenCourseWare project, will launch MITx, an e-learning initiative that will offer certificates to students demonstrating mastery of free MIT courses. According to a new set of FAQs, the certificates won’t bear MIT’s name. Rather, “MIT plans to create a not-for-profit body within [MITx] that will offer certification for online learners of MIT coursework. That body will carry a distinct name to avoid confusion.” The courses will be free; the certificates will cost just a “modest” sum. It’s all a big step in the right direction.
Good news. But will it create new value? Or as a cynical commenter argued:
Faculty at top ten universities are NOT good teachers, research has consistently found—though students benefit from great lab and research work they come from. BUT there is some worth here—in terms of unlocking the secret treasure box, where the secret is, top universities are MOSTLY FILTERS not adders of value Restricting access was their primary route to high status, not improving student minds and civilizational outcomes (example Harvard’s destruction of $13 trillion of US wealth via its wall street ethos and faculty). Any move to actually educate not merely up status by restricting access is welcome though too late to save GENERATIONS OF Americans now hopeless incompetent to continue the American dream.