By Tamar Lewin
The American Council on Education, the leading umbrella group for higher education, and Coursera, a Silicon Valley provider of online education, announced Wednesday that five Coursera offerings were similar enough to traditional college courses to be eligible for credit.
Students who want to take the free classes for credit would have to pay a fee to take an identity-verified, proctored exam, and for a transcript to submit to the college of their choice. Similar transcripts are accepted by 2,000 colleges and universities for courses offered by the military or by employers.
The Coursera classes are the first MOOCs — massive open online courses — to be declared eligible.