Imagine what might happen if MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) were to be able to grant degrees. How might that shift in paradigm affect higher education? Is it possible? Sure. We have seen in the past year that anything is possible. Instructors, who are the subject matter experts, create the courses and field questions while small cohorts of students (created to establish that essential learning community) work through the course modules together. Charge $69 per course, which is the typical cost of a certificate of completion to make earning a degree accessible and attractive to more citizens.
How about the other way around, what happens if courses in higher education adopt the course layout of a MOOC? If you have not yet had the pleasure to experience a MOOC course, please do. You will find a consistent structure that is full of multimedia and formative feedback activities presented using universal design for learning (UDL) principles. You can learn at your own pace because all the content is open for review. Imagine challenging the test at each module and begin at the module that you failed the test. You will then know your level and where to begin the course. Think of the time saved. Think of the reduction in grading for instructors.
Does any university course offer the option to take all the tests at the beginning and start at the test you struggle with? Not in the courses that I have taken. The potential is there, the approach just needs to be reconsidered at all levels of formal education.
Will MOOCs ever grant degrees? Maybe there are some already. What can be done today? Try a MOOC and adopt some of the design into your courses in Blackboard, Canvas, D2L or whatever platform so two effective means of course delivery can be merged to create one jaw dropping course.