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Earn Certificates of Participation

Earlier on we reported on a pilot in which students worldwide can earn a certificate of participation for (among others) two TU Delft OpenCourseWare Courses (being Sanitary Engineering and Solar Cells). The certificates are issued by the OpenCourseWare Consortium in partnership with OpenStudy.

This Monday the initiative went live. So now, everyone in the world will be able to earn Certificates of Participation in TU Delft Sanitary Engineering and TU Delft Solar Cells.

The Open Study Press release:

OpenCourseWare Consortium, 20Million Minds Foundation and Excelsior College to offer certification and college credit for online courses in partnership with OpenStudy

Palo Alto, CA. Global learners studying on open courses offered by the OpenCourseWare Consortium member institutions, the 20 Million Minds Foundation and Excelsior College,now have the opportunity to earn Certificates of Participation and college credit. OCW Consortium members, University of Notre Dame, UC Irvine and TU Delft, will offer the first set of courses. OpenStudy offers open learners a vibrant, award winning community of practice and offers partners next generation assessment based on documented competencies, behavioral profiling and social analytics.

“We are delighted to be working with these innovators in education who realize the potential of  open online courses and who are focused on helping not only high achievers but also at-risk learners. For high school students, this is an opportunity to engage with college level content – and add a credible documentation of engagement, helpfulness and academic competence to their college applications.  For college students it serves the dual purposes of enhancing their performance in a college course and creates a verified e-portfolio for their first job.” says Preetha Ram, CEO of OpenStudy

Open, online courses attract global learners to study together on free content.  OpenStudy’s partners are extending the value of the open course experience by offering Certificate of Participation that not only reports on competencies gained in the course but more importantly, job skills: teamwork, problem solving and engagement.  Together this documentation will increase the employability of learners and address the issue that confronts employers: how does one obtain a reliable report of on the job performance?

The OpenCourseWare Consortium is a non-profit organization of over 300 member universities that has played a leadership role in the development of free online courses.  Twenty million users visit over 20,000 OCW courses annually.  Mary Lou Forward, Director of the OCW Consortium says, “The Certificate of Participation is just what self learners have been asking for: a signal to employers of skills and competencies and a real incentive to keep them engaged with the learning.”

The 20 Million Minds Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to bringing down the cost of textbooks and creating more engaging and effective open educational materials for college students. With their  novel online course, 20MM  is reinventing online textbooks by building social learning communities around static content and giving learners worldwide the opportunity to learn together. “Students who sign up for the certificate will be further incentivized to study through a “pay for performance” model,” announced Dean Florez, former CA State Senator and President of 20 Million Minds. “After completing the course and submitting their grade for the course, students will receive rewards, including cash back and gift cards, to further recognize their success.”

Excelsior College a recognized leader in educational innovation will offer global learners the option of earning college credit after passing an Excelsior examination.  

Certificates are priced starting at $30.

OpenStudy is also integrated with a MOOC offered by MIT OCW, P2PU and Codecademy that launched in mid-October.  Certification is not yet available for this MOOC.

Individuals can register for these courses at www.openstudy.com/courses  Partners plan to roll out additional courses in the following weeks.

About OpenStudy: OpenStudy’s vision is to help learners anywhere anytime.  Their first product, a social learning platform connects over 300,000 learners to each other each month, with over 2000 questions asked each day.  The  SmartScore Assessment engine that powers the  Certificates of Participation was recently released.  Today they offer their innovative assessment to open course providers and to learners worldwide.

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