Gaining College Credit for YouTube: The Latest eLearning Trend

Back in November I first wrote about the emerging potential of iTunes University as a vehicle for learning, when Yale University Dean Joel Podolny joined the Apple team to serve as Dean of their own learning system. This past February I wrote about iTunes U once more, as new research was released which confirmed the power learning via this method as university students who listened to podcast lectures received consistently better test scores than those who didn't.

One University in Australia, however, is taking this a step further, and is now offering college credit to high school students who watch video footage of lectures on YouTube. Professor Richard Buckland of the University of NSW in Sydney, Australia, wanted a way to allow high school students who lived too far away but were capable of handling college level programs, to actually attend Buckland's classes by watching videos of his lectures on YouTube.  Though students go through a rigorous selection procedure, if accepted, they must not only watch videos on YouTube but also hand in other work assignments in order to receive the transferable college credit which is of no cost to them.  And, of course, only those accepted to the program receive the credit, but once the lectures are up on YouTube, they are freely available to be streamed by anyone.  

This is another example of Open Learning—how will this impact corporate universities? Right now many companies are creating a Youtube version behind the firewall to share "how to lessons," will taking an entire course on YouTube be next?

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