Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX, said that because “nearly 150,000 edX learners are high school students, [developing] courses to specifically meet the needs of this student population is a high priority for us.”
While the courses are not offered for high school credit, students may pay a registration fee ranging from $25-$100 for a completion certificate.
The certificates are “a great way for students to give themselves an incentive to complete the course and celebrate their success,” according to edX. “If students want to list the MOOC on a college application or resume, they may prefer to have a verified certificate.”
If students opt to earn a certificate, they’ll be asked to submit a photo ID, and as the course progresses, they might be asked to verify their identity via a webcam.
Like edX’s other online courses, Agarwal said, student progress will be tracked in a progress page that “features a student’s overall score on the top in a bar graph with assignments and scores listed below by week.”
Daniel A. Domenech, executive director of AASA, the School Superintendents Association, said MOOCs are not yet at the point where high schools will be offering full credit for their completion.
For that to happen, Domenech said, MOOCs will have to address a number of key issues. For instance, the courses will have to earn the endorsement of a nationally recognized accrediting agency. Also, most states still require students to be taught by a teacher who is certified in that state.
But when taken for enrichment or to supplement traditional instruction, MOOCs “do have value” for high school students, Domenech said.
Ean Marshall is an editorial intern at eSchool News.