‘Spooky Mooc’ students fail to bite over credits

University’s Vampire Fictions course ends with no participants opting to pay for official recognition of their achievement

February 20, 2014

The first UK massive open online course to offer students the option to pay for academic credit has ended, with none of its participants opting to fork out for official recognition.

The Edge Hill University Mooc, entitled Vampire Fictions, was announced in May last year and attracted about 1,000 students.

Of these, 31 reached the end of the course, with none opting to hand over the £200 that Edge Hill was charging in exchange for 20 credits at level 4 – the equivalent of a module on a first-year degree course.

However, course leader Ben Brabon, reader in English literature and digital education at Edge Hill, said that his “spooky Mooc” had been a success and had taught him a lot about the process of offering massive open online education.

“There was a sense [among the students] early on that this wasn’t like other Moocs,” he said. “It required a bit more of the learner in terms of their critical engagement and in what was expected in terms of preparation.

“It might have been more worrying if we had accredited something like this and suddenly discovered that 1,000 students [had] completed it and wanted credit. If that happened, you might begin to question why we have prerequisites for degrees, why we have learning outcomes, if they are all so easily achievable.”

One of the 31 completing students did sign up for a three-year creative writing degree at Edge Hill, with fees of £9,000 per year. They could have applied for their Mooc to be recognised for credit towards their degree, but opted not to do so.

“I think that they wanted a fresh start,” Dr Brabon said, but added that the fact that credit was available could have played a part in the student’s decision to pursue a degree.

“The student had an extended taster session of what higher education was like, had a positive experience and demonstrated that they could cope with higher education, could engage critically at that level,” he said.

“Because of the credit on offer and because the course was benchmarked, they knew that what they were doing was at the [undergraduate] level.”

chris.parr@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Worried man wiping forehead
Two academics explain how to beat some of the typical anxieties associated with a doctoral degree

Felipe Fernández-Armesto takes issue with a claim that the EU has been playing the sovereignty card in Brexit negotiations

John McEnroe arguing with umpire. Tennis

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman explain how to negotiate your annual performance and development review

Man throwing axes

UCU attacks plans to cut 171 posts, but university denies Brexit 'the reason'

looking through a gap

University appeals ICO notice to publish report on refusal to take part in league tables