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San Jose State to Offer MOOCs

A year ago, hardly anybody knew the term MOOC or “Massive Open Online Course.” But the Internet-based courses offered by elite universities through Coursera, by a consortium led by Harvard and MIT called edX, and by others, are proving wildly popular, with some classes attracting hundreds of thousands of students. In a field known for being slow to change, MOOCs have made a huge impact in higher education, and universities are racing for a piece of the action.

San Jose State University recently announced a deal with Udacity, a major MOOC player, to create a pilot program of three online, entry-level courses that will cost students $150 to take and lead to university-awarded academic credits if passed.

San Jose State professors will teach the courses while Udacity contributes the platform and staff support, including mentors who will help track and encourage students’ progress.

The university will cap enrollment at 100 for each of the three courses, with half of the slots going to students from San Jose State. Priority enrollment for the remaining 150 openings will go to high school and community college students, members of the military and veterans, and wait-listed San Jose State students — all groups who might find it harder to be admitted to the university amid heavy student demand and tight budgets.

Meanwhile, California’s community college system is exploring a different approach with MOOCs. Click here to read more.

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