Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Australian Universities in EdX MicroMasters

Three Australian universities: ANU, Curtin and Queensland, are offering masters level blended courses as part of EdX MicroMasters Programs. Students can obtain credit towards up to one-quarter of a Masters (six months of the two years full-time study) for completing a series of EdX courses:
  1. Australian National University: Evidence-Based Management
  2. Curtin University: Human Rights
  3. The University of Queensland: Leadership in Global Development
However, it should be noted that these course are not free and are not pure on-line courses, requiring attendance for a capstone examination. Also the completion rates for such on-line courses is lower than for conventional on-line distance education and campus-based courses.

The completion rate for the EdX MicroMasters could be expected to be less than 1%. Rather than a low cost university program, the MicroMasters could be seen as a form of extended for-fee university entrance examination. Rafael Reif, MIT President, is quoted as saying EdX MicroMasters is "an experiment in what I call inverted admissions. Anybody anywhere can try to take those courses online."

Under the Australian Qualifications Framework, the EdX MicroMasters is closest to a Graduate Certificate, as part of a nested qualification. The use of the term "Masters" is misleading and may not comply with Australian law.

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