If you have not heard about massive open online courses (MOOCs) yet, it is free, large-scaled online courses open to anyone on the web.
MOOCs use traditional teaching methods, such as videos, lectures and course work, to create a community of professors, teaching assistants and students through interactive forums.
The majority of people taking MOOCs only register to explore new topics. While 100,000 students may register for a class, only about 10 percent will actively participate in the course by completing assessments, which are graded on a mass scale by computers.
Before this all students got for completing a course was a certificate of completion, but now there is talk of universities giving credit for certain MOOCs and others which are currently offering it.
Colorado State University was the first U.S. based institution to offer course credit for a MOOC offered through Udacity. In order to get a college credit, students have to pass one of two exams – the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and the DANTES Subject Standardized Test (DSST).
College Board, the company that creates the SAT, PSAT and AP exams), also offer the CLEP exam. The CLEP offers students credit (depending on the university) for their MOOC after they pass the examination to prove they understand the subject that was taught.
According to Edudemic, 2,900 universities currently offer credit for CLEP exams.
The DSST was originally created for the Department of Defense’s Defense Activity for Non-traditional Education Support (DANTES). This is also a test that if you pass you receive a college credit.
According to Edudemic, the DSST is accepted at more than 2,000 colleges.
For those of you who cannot afford a college class, a MOOC may be something you should look into.