OERu: Global learning for a global workforce
While popular MOOC platforms Coursera and Udacity claim to be free and “open” but are merely free, OERu is the real thing: a truly free and open international partnership offering MOOCs for academic credit. OERu offers free courses to anyone with an internet connection who is interested in learning online with others from anywhere the world. OERu learners study independently, from home, by accessing world-class courses from recognized institutions. Learners who want their efforts to count towards formal academic qualification can pay a reduced fee for course credit.
OERu is an international non-profit but currently has a limited number of US partners and no US community colleges in its network of institutions. This has to do with the messy nature of credit transfer between US, European, and Asian institutions but another complicating factor is the cumbersome US statewide distance learning authorization requirements for out-of-state learners, making national and international partnerships difficult.
If your institution is interested in joining an international network of universities and colleges dedicated to providing low-cost access to college courses using OER, check out the OERu website here. The requirements for membership are here. OERu is also willing to discuss system and consortial memberships if there is enough interest by large systems such as the VCCS.