From April Master’s students can take an entirely online elective course and gain three credits for it. This is the first time that a MOOC (massive open online course) is worth credits.
The course, the future of food: environmental sustainability can be taken entirely online. The credits, however, can only be obtained by taking the exam on campus. This is because it is not yet possible in Europe to convert a certificate gained online into official credits. ‘But we are heading towards a situation in which you can take MOOCs as part of your degree programme, as long as they are properly examined,’ says Ulrike Wild, director of distance learning at Wageningen UR. She explains that universities and the ministry of Education are also talking about the option of gaining credits with MOOCs from other universities.
Students can already register for the first Wageningen online elective. They are allowed to spread the course over take two periods (periods 5 and 6). Next academic year will even be available as an elective all year round. Exams will then be scheduled four times a year.