NB: Below you will find the Forum Topic I posted this morning to my Coursera MOOC on "The History and Future of (Mostly) Higher Education" in the wake of a notice about the Signature track going to all the enrolled MOOC students (close to 16,000 now, with over 7000 actually participating in some way last week). I figured no one is going to be better informed about this than the participants themselves. #FutureEd is committed to making these ideas part of an international public forum. I will never use the identity of a participant without their permission but their ideas are part of what we are doing by extending the "meta-MOOC" to become a "movement."
My Forum Post to the Coursera Participants: "What Do You Think about the Coursera Signature Track?"
I originally said I would not offer Certificates or a Signature Track for this Coursera MOOC because there is so much hype and hysteria that I didn't want this course on The History and Future of Higher Education to contribute. I decided to do both for many reasons but chiefly (1) so many people--especially teachers--convinced me that this could actually make a material improvement in their lives, getting credit towards professional development, that I could not see the harm, especially since it is clear this course is not taking away the job of another professor teaching at a university offering such a course as a requirement; this is an add-on and a benefit and mostly lifelong learning or, for some, an unusual or even unique chance to have an alternative way of showing interest in one's profession; and (2) I hate giving in to knee-jerk hype and hysteria and did it so I could learn more.
Now, however, I need to add a third reason: (3) Why not ask those taking this MOOC what they think of this feature? I have never encountered more sustained, smarter, more thoughtful discussion of MOOCs, of higher education, and of educational reform than in this MOOC. I am humbled and inspired. I'd love to hear what you think and make this a subject of an energetic Forum. We can make a difference. I believe that. And I thank you for your contribution.