Verified Certificates from Coursera

    New sites for mass online education (MOOC) made a lot of noise last year, giving free access to everyone to the courses provided by top universities (mainly American). Some have already begun to talk about the imminent loss of importance by traditional universities and their displacement by such sites. Of course, many questions raise the value of the issued certificates in the eyes of potential employers. It seems that one of the top MOOC sites, Coursera , is taking steps to create this value.

    Today a service called Signature Track was launched, which will allow Coursera students to receive confirmed certificates of completion of the courses. This service includes:
    1. Verification of identity , allowing you to create profiles with a photo and signature.
    2. Confirmed certificates certified by Coursera itself and the leading university.
    3. Records of the results of courses available at the link.

    The following mechanism of work is assumed. The student creates a Signature Profile that identifies his personality and is associated with course entries. This profile will include a photo (captured via a webcam) and Signature Phrase (captured and also captured via a webcam) for identification. Each time decisions are sent, the student’s identity will be verified using this phrase. At the end of the course, the student will be provided with a certified certificate issued on behalf of the university’s course leader (by the way, which does not give the right to speak in any way about his studies at this university).

    At the moment, the service is introduced only for some courses:

    Signature Track will not be free. At the moment, it is reported that the service will cost $ 30-100 per course.
    Together with other recent innovations ( Career Services and established equivalent student loans for real universities (American), Signature Track can make Coursera seriously interesting for a large number of students and employers, as well as make real universities a little worried. It also looks like a business model is starting to emerge MOOC-sites - search for employees for employers and the issuance of paid certificates to students. We are waiting for the actions of other sites ( Udacity , edX ).

    Post on Coursera blog .

    The opinion of the habrasociety about the looming confrontation “MOOC vs. real universities. ” Will total or partial crowding out occur? If you think so, when?

    UPD. By the way, I recall a person who compiled for himself a six-semester computer science training program . I think that with the increase in the number of courses offered, there will be more such opportunities.

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