MOOC News & Reviews: An Interview with Tina Grant, NCCRS

NCCRSIf you’ve been having a slow start to your Friday morning, or just been cruising (or carousing) around for some interesting news, you might have noticed the article, MOOC Credit Watch – Q&A with the National College Credit Recommendation Service. In this piece, MOOC News & Reviews‘ Robert McGuire interviews NCCRS Director Tina Grant.

The breakdown:

NCCRS, affiliated with the Board of Regents, University of the State of New York, typically evaluates “non-traditional” entities’ training and education programs. The hope is that universities will be willing allow transfer credits for these recommended learning experiences. McGuire first heard about the organization through our recent partnership with 7 colleges based on NCCRS-recommended course exams.

One key to accrediting such non-traditional programs is to ensure that these cheaper alternatives speak the language of our universities, employers and society. Sometimes, our society can be a bit skeptical of alternative pathways, as we are so used to tacking a hefty price-tag onto education-based endeavors (example: universities). Additionally, according to Grant, employers’ acceptance of such programs is vital to causes like ours here at Saylor. But one must remember that reaching the students themselves is the end goal. So a student, therefore, should remember what his/her motive is behind the decision to invest in education and in what format.

Take-aways:

  1. No admissions process? No application fee? No problem for NCCRS! Just have to ensure those exams are secure and that prerequisites are added in the course descriptions-then you’re well on your way!
  2. Employers can be the drivers for the demand for alternatively-credentialed skills and assessments.
  3. Students should look for online courses (both instructor-led and self-paced) from entities that have students’ motives in mind and encourage feedback.
  4. Badges are also worthwhile, as not only an “interesting angle” but as potential “currency” for employers.
  5. Society may not always trust free or cheap things…but then again, if it is good quality and gets you there, then why fight the low cost?

Photo Credit: http://twitter.com/nccrs