After dozens of cases of plagiarism in classes offered by Coursera were reported last month, people have begun scrutinizing the honor code that comes with online education. “Are they learning, or are they cheating,” publications have asked, placing other top platforms underneath a magnifying glass.
MIT- and Harvard-run online learning venture edX might have found a way to help curb any cheating, however. They’ve recently announced an agreement with Pearson VUE, giving learners the option of taking a proctored final exam. Not only would the exam help dissuade from cheating, but the tests also come with the certification that employers need to take online learning seriously today.
“This option enhances the value of our courses in the real world, helps us maintain our goal of making high-quality education both accessible and practical and thus is a natural evolution of edX’s core philosophy of transforming lives through education,” said Anant Agarwal, president of edX, in a press release.
Students will now have the opportunity to complete a final exam at one of over 450 Pearson VUE test centers in more than 110 countries. Although the proctoring service isn’t free, Agarwal describes it as “a modest fee,” claiming the credential could be integrated into future résumés.
Companies have verified certification matters in terms of class completion. HeatSpring founder Brian Hayden said he found “certification courses had a significantly higher completion rate (36 percent) than those with a certificate (18 percent) or no certificate (10 percent).”
Considering the biggest complaints about online education have fallen under the three Cs — completion, certification and cheating — edX appears to be covering all of their bases.