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March monthly update: MOOCs, an experiment in obtaining college credit

March marks a year since Edward De Los Santos began his MOOC experiment. For those just following the journey, his main goal is to undertake as many MOOCs (via Coursera, Udacity, edX, etc.) as possible so that he can apply for college credit through a prior learning assessment portfolio (PLA) at his planned university. He has completed four Coursera courses, which include English Composition I: Achieving Expertise! (Duke University), Internet History, Technology, and Security (University of Michigan), The Ancient Greeks (Wesleyan University), and Genes and the Human Condition (University of Maryland, College Park). The last time we caught up with Edward, he was enrolled in three college credit courses, as well as a Coursera and Kaplan University course.

Edward, how is your Coursera Introduction to Databases course so far?

I’m taking it slow since it’s a self-paced course. I think I'm doing well enough. I've been learning a lot.

How about your Kaplan University course?

The Documenting Your Experiences for College Credit is nearly at the end. It is helping me quite a bit in compiling a Prior Learning Portfolio.

And your college credit courses?

I'm completely finished with those! I took Freshman Composition I, Introduction to Humanities, and Computer Fundamentals and Applications. They were accelerated courses so they finished earlier than the rest. Unfortunately, final grades won't be available until late April. I'm pretty sure I have an A in the Computer Fundamentals course and either a high B or low A in the other two. I'll be happy with either grade, though.

Are you still in the Winter Park Tech course?

No, I've completed that one, too, and received an A at the end of the semester. But I decided not to continue because of the college courses and the MOOCs. I didn't want to overdo it. I still have to work full-time. (laughs)

Don't we all! But that’s great! Have you enrolled in any other courses since we last spoke?

I have! I’ll be starting another Coursera course, Programming for Everybody, through the University of Michigan on April 10th. It’s a basic programming course using Python. It should be interesting. I had the same professor for my Internet History, Technology, and Security course.

Edward, that’s great. You are keeping yourself busy! Thank you so much for taking the time to update us.

Check back next month to see how Edward is progressing with his MOOC studies.

Summary of Edward’s MOOC courses and scores (when available):

English Composition I: Achieving Expertise! (Duke University) - 86.6% with distinction.

Internet History, Technology, and Security (University of Michigan) - 102.3% with distinction.

The Ancient Greeks (Wesleyan University) - 94.3% with distinction.

Genes and the Human Condition (University of Maryland, College Park) - 82.8%.

Documenting Your Experiences for College Credit (Kaplan University) - in progress

Introduction to Databases (Stanford University) - in progress

Programming for Everybody (University of Michigan) - starts August 10th