- A new partnership between Arizona State University and MOOC provider edX is set to provide students anywhere in the world an entry point to freshman-level university credit.
- Through the Global Freshman Academy, learners will be able to complete a series of eight digital immersion courses designed and led by ASU faculty without having to apply to the university or pay for credit hours until after they finish.
- The courses fulfill general ed requirements in subjects including mathematical studies, humanities, arts and design, social-behavioral sciences, and natural sciences, and the first, Introduction to Solar Systems Astronomy, is now accepting enrollment for its fall 2015 launch. Two others are expected to launch alongside it.
This is a pretty big deal, as its success would fulfill one of the big predictions made for MOOCs a few years ago — that they would potentially stand in for traditional gen ed courses. It's not the first attempt to do so, but it does seem to be one of the most fleshed-out plans yet. Should it prove successful, it could have a wide impact on higher ed's business model as it pertains to the amount of money institutions make on large, general ed lecture hall courses.
According to a press release, the cost-per-credit-hour for the courses is set at no more than $200.