The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

MIT Pilots Online Master's Program

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is giving inverted admissions a try in a pilot for students in its supply chain management (SCM) master’s degree program. Students who successfully complete the first semester of SCM courses online will become eligible for admission to the Cambridge, MA, campus for one semester to complete the degree.

“Inverted admission has the potential to disrupt traditional modes of access to higher education,” said Sanjay Sarma, dean of digital learning, in a report for MIT News. “We’re democratizing access to a master’s program for learners worldwide.”

The pilot includes a new academic credential developed by MIT called MicroMaster’s. Students will earn the digital credential after taking a proctored examination of materials covered in first-semester classes from MITx, the portfolio of free MIT courses available online through the interactive learning platform edX.

There are no admissions requirements for the courses, which are available to anyone interested in taking them. Learners will have to pay a small fee to have their MicroMaster’s verified, but then they can apply for admissions to the semester on campus with the MicroMaster’s worth a semester of MIT credit.

“The rising cost of education, combined with the transformative potential of online teaching and learning technologies, presents a long-term challenge that no university can afford to ignore,” said MIT President Rafael Reif. “At MIT, we are choosing to meet this challenge directly by assessing the educational model that has served the institute so well for so long. We are experimenting boldly with ideas to enhance the education we offer our own students and to lower the barriers to access for learners around the world.”

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