American Public University System Partners with University Professional & Continuing Education Association to Evaluate MOOC

  American Public University System Partners with University Professional &
  Continuing Education Associationto Evaluate MOOC Impact on Higher Education

Joins Select UPCEA Members Collaborating through American Council on Education
                         Grant from Gates Foundation

Business Wire

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- April 8, 2013

American Public University System (APUS) today announced that it will partner
with the University Professional & Continuing Education Association (UPCEA),
the University of Illinois - Springfield and several other UPCEA member
institutions to examine the potential of massive open online courses (MOOCs)
and how MOOCs could integrate into traditional degree completion programs.

The UPCEA pilot program, funded through an American Council on Education (ACE)
grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will help determine how
students succeed at higher education institutions after having received credit
for a MOOC, according to Dr. Jennifer Stephens-Helm, vice president,
institutional research & assessment, for APUS.

“APUS is honored to participate in this important cross-institutional effort
to identify to what extent MOOCs reach low-income, young adult and older adult
learners, and whether MOOCs may aid in degree or certificate completion,” said
Stephens-Helm, who will oversee APUS’s efforts as part of the consortium. “Our
prior experience in collaborating on such similar initiatives as Next
Generation Learning Challenges and the Predictive Analytics Reporting
Framework will help us assess and share meaningful data to expand student
access and improve learning outcomes.”

The UPCEA project’s long-term objective is to work with APUS and other
participating institutions to apply credit for successful completion of MOOCs
qualified by the industry- standard ACE College Credit Recommendation Service.
The University of Illinois - Springfield Center for Online Learning, Research
and Service will examine the pedagogy and practices employed by each
institution, including Central Michigan University, Kaplan University, Regis
University, SUNY - Empire State, University of Maryland – University College
and Western Carolina University, in addition to APUS. Anonymized data will be
collected on the demographics, academic background/ performance, and related
information about the students granted MOOC credit.

The initial research phase will focus on developing a taxonomic pedagogy for
various types of MOOCs, including quantitative, humanities, professional and
others. This approach will better enable tracking the characteristics,
persistence and related qualities of students as they progress at APUS and
other participating institutions.The project ultimately seeks to leverage
this baseline data to help enlighten the design and implementation of future
studies in credit for MOOCs.

About American Public University System

American Public University System, winner of the Sloan Consortium’s 2009 Ralph
E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education and two-time recipient of Sloan’s
Effective Practices Award, offers 87 online degree programs through American
Public University and American Military University. APUS’s relevant
curriculum, affordability and flexibility help more than 100,000 working
adults worldwide pursue degrees in subjects ranging from homeland security to
management and liberal arts. For further information, visit


American Public University System (APUS)
Brian Muys, 571-358-3145
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