Coursera, a company that partners with universities to create and offer massive open online courses (MOOCs), has announced plans to offer students verified certificates for the completion of select MOOCs for a slight fee.
Students are allotted two to three weeks from the selected course’s start date to decide whether or not they would like to pay the $30 to $100 fee and become eligible for a verified certificate. Those who pay the fee are directed to Signature Track, a new program that is capable of confirming the student’s identity.
The certificates do not include credits toward a degree, but supporters say they offer proof that a student has completed a rigorous course.
Then, students create a profile by taking two pictures via webcam: one of themselves, and one of a valid photo ID document. The program then creates a biometric profile of a student’s typing patterns by asking the student to type a short phrase, one that the student will re-enter before submitting each assignment throughout the course.
(Next page: What university officials think)