University of Oregon takes cautious approach in adopting massive open online classes

The college student of the future rolls out of bed on his own schedule. Still in his pajamas, he goes about his morning routine, grabs something to eat, opens his laptop and plugs into a virtual classroom, which offers higher education courses taught from institutions around the world, the Daily Emerald reports. This is the college experience of the future — and with rapidly increasing popularity and institutional support already for in-house online courses, it’s not too hard to imagine it will soon be a reality. Massive open online courses are key players in the evolving spectrum of online education. They’re an invention that took flight when renowned private institutions began offering online adaptations of classes to the public. Last week, 10 public universities joined with MOOC distributor Coursera and announced their intention to begin providing institutional credit for Coursera’s online classes. The University of Oregon, however, remains cautious in jumping on the bandwagon. Recently, Ian McNeely, a UO history associate professor and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, served as part of a committee designated by the Oregon University System to set a policy regarding the acceptance of credits for prior and outside learning — including credits earned through online course providers.

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