Winds of Change in Higher Education

Kristin Ingolfsdottir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Recent developments confirm predictions by the IEEE that Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) will have extensive impact on the future landscape of higher education. New degree structures are being introduced and awarding of verified MOOC credentials is becoming more widespread, as is recognition of MOOC credits by universities and employers. The question is whether this disruptive influence is being sufficiently used as an incentive for re-evaluation of standard practices and for driving strategic change in higher education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)990-992
Number of pages3
JournalTrends in Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
MIT has recently introduced an initiative in partnership with edX whereby the Master's program in Supply Chain Management and Logistics can be taken through an online MOOC semester followed by a residential semester. Students who opt for verified credentials (MicroMasters) take proctored exams, and can apply for admission to the MIT Master's program to do the second semester on campus, using their MicroMasters as credit for the first semester. Thirteen universities have already adopted the MIT MicroMasters model and are currently launching 18 new programs through edX. Another recent model for credit recognition is the Global Freshman Academy at Arizona State University, which enables students worldwide to take MOOCs and earn verified credits for university freshman level that can count towards a degree. In an outreach project, edX in partnership with Kiron University in Berlin, is offering MOOC courses to refugees in Europe. Students that complete exams successfully will receive free verified certificates, which can subsequently be used as college credit to complete studies on-campus at partnering universities. The American Council on Education (ACE) continues to work on MOOC course evaluation to support acceptance of credit (e.g., through the Alternative Credit Project, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd


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