What is the value of a Certificate from a MOOC provider?

This is certainly a tough question with varying answers from different parties.

This post is being sparked from two separate but related email updates from Udacity (one of the MOOC providers that I learn with) and they are summarized below

  1. From Udacity support: Phasing Out Free Certificates of Completion 4/16/2014 2:28PM
  • Summary: “certificates for free courseware completion reward completing a rigorous course, but they are neither identity-verified nor based on a project completion review”>> Based on feedback the process to get these certificates is not rigorous enough for the unverified freeware to validate actually mastery of a subject matter in the eyes of industry (ie to impress hiring managers)
  1. From Udacity support: Certificates for Design of Everyday Things 4/16/2014 4:42PM
  • Summary: ‘We’ve done a poor job communicating about certificates for students in this course. We’d like to make this right by offering you the opportunity to earn a free certificate of completion.” >> hence my prompt download and social media sharing efforts of my completion of  Intro to the Design of Everyday Things: Design Fundamentals certificate

In a nutshell my take of Udacity’s efforts is a step in the right direction toward the validity of MOOCs (in comparison to tradition education, which I’m sure MOOCs prefer the distinction). Verified certificates insure (for the most part) that a user that participated in a course actually submitted the work. Unfortunately these certificates are just pieces of paper. The true work behind MOOCs lie in the learners ability to apply that knowledge to create a portfolio, displaying comprehension and working knowledge of a subject. I do love certificates though and they will be very missed from Udacity’s offerings in freeware.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s