MOOC students to be identified with webcams

The two initial courses are Foundations of Computer Science, and Supply Chain and Logistics Management. The sequences will start this fall and in fall 2014, respectively.

“This is really a curriculum that’s being created for the MOOC itself,” Carson said. “So there’s not a one-to-one equivalent. Almost all the MOOCs you see are taking the 14 week courses you get on campus and just replicating that. These are breaking the material down into subject content rather than the artificial constructs of the semester time-frame.”

Beginning in the spring, students taking the courses have the option of paying for the new verification process when they want to earn a certificate. The process will use webcam photographs to confirm a student’s identity.

The nonprofit MOOC platform edX is testing out the ID verification process this fall with three standalone MOOCs at MIT and Berkeley.

The school said the exact price will be announced at a later date, but the certificates will likely cost a few hundred dollars. Students taking the sequences can still choose the free “Honor Code Certificate of Achievement,” as well.

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