The American Council of Education (ACE) has recommended that five courses on Coursera, an online learning platform founded by Stanford professors, become eligible for official college credit.
Associate Professor of Computer Science Andrew Ng and Professor of Computer Science Daphne Koller Ph.D. ’93 launched Coursera in April 2012. The platform currently offers more than 200 online classes from 33 universities around the country.
Of the five courses recommended for credit by the ACE, four are intended for undergraduates: Pre-Calculus, offered by the University of California, Irvine; Introduction to Genetics and Evolution and Bioelectricity: A Quantitative Approach, both offered by Duke University; and Calculus: Single Variable, offered by the University of Pennsylvania. The ACE also recommended Algebra, offered by the University of California, Irvine, for vocational credit.
The ACE certification will allow colleges to grant credit for Coursera courses, though each university will ultimately make its own decision about awarding credit for the classes. Students taking classes for official credit will complete a proctored exam at the end of the course and enroll in the course’s Signature Track, which connects each student’s coursework to his or her identity and creates a shareable course record.
Though enrollment in a Coursera class is usually free, students receiving credit will pay a fee of $30 to $99 for the Signature Track, and another $60 to $90 for the proctored exam at the end of the course. Exams will be proctored through the online service ProctorU, which allows students to connect to a proctor via webcam.