There's a growing spectrum of options for learners to gain credentials in the MOOC world from a single course certificate to a full degree. Massive open online courses, or MOOCs are online courses delivered by universities and organisations that are mostly available for free to anybody worldwide with internet access. Learners can also choose to pay to earn certificates of completion for individual courses, multicourse programs, some of which award academic credit, or even earn a full degree. The courses are "stackable", meaning that several courses may stack up to microcredentials, and microcredentials can stack up to full online degrees. MOOCs are typically delivered through platforms such as EdX, FutureLearn, and Coursera.
These MOOC-based credentials are significantly less costly than traditional credentials and also provide flexibility and pay as you go pricing.
Costs of verified course certificates usually start at around $50 or between $39 to $79 per month on a subscription basis. The average cost of a microcredential offering academic credit toward a full master's degree is just $980, and a fully accredited and recognized Master's Degree typically costs between $10,000 and $22,000. In addition to the lower cost, MOOC-based credentials also provide flexibility, try-before-you-buy and pay as you go pricing.
This guide explains the different credentials students can earn with MOOCs.
MOOC Verified Certificates
A verified certificate provides proof for an employer, school, or other institution that you have successfully completed an online course. Verified certificates require you to verify your identity using a webcam and a photo identification card, so employers and schools know that you completed the course work. Costs of verified course certificates usually start at around $50 or between $39 to $79 per month on a subscription basis.
For more information, see ID Verified Certificates in MOOCs or explore courses here: MOOC Directory | MoocLab - Connecting People to Online Learning
MOOC Microcredentials (Multicourse Programs)
Microcredentials are a series of related courses designed to help you deepen your expertise in a subject. Many of these offer academic credit toward a full degree. Examples of microcredentials include Specializations, XSeries, MicroMasters, MasterTracks, MicroBachelors, Nanodegrees, and Professional Certificates. The average cost of a microcredential offering academic credit toward a full degree is just $980.
For more information, see Certificates | MoocLab - Connecting People to Online Learning and Moocs for Credits | MoocLab - Connecting People to Online Learning
Students enrolled in MOOC-based degrees have access to the same professors as their on-campus peers and graduate with a high-value credential from the same university. The "MOOC model" allows learners to take a series of courses that stack up to a degree with no obligation to complete all the courses, and may still receive a certification for completing certain courses. Students learn at their own pace and are only required to pay for the courses they take. In addition, many of the courses within a MOOC degree program can be audited at no cost, allowing prospective students to get a flavour of the contents before committing.
A fully accredited and recognized Master's Degree typically costs between $10,000 and $22,000.
Explore MOOC-based degrees from top universities here: MOOC-Based Degree Programs | MoocLab - Connecting People to Online Learning