Students taking the increasingly popular free online courses offered by elite universities could be a step closer to earning college credit for completing them.
Nearly 2 million students worldwide have signed up for so-called "Massive Online Open Courses" — or MOOCs — from Coursera, which offers classes from Princeton, Stanford, Duke and 31 other universities.
So far, there's been almost no route for students to earn credit for completing those courses, and most who sign up don't finish. But under a new agreement, the American Council on Education will begin evaluating a handful of Coursera classes and — if they pass muster — recommend that other colleges award credit to students who pass. It will still be up to individual universities whether to accept such credits.