YouTube Launches Online Course With Earnable College Credits

Muhammad Razief Razqie . January 25, 2023

Picture: Wall Street Journal

Techspace - YouTube is launching off a series of online courses that can progress into earning official, transferable college credits, an initiative with the goal of breaking down cost and accessibility barriers to higher education.

The program, called College Foundations, is an extension of YouTube's existing partnership with Arizona State University and educational video company Crash Course, which was launched by internet creators Hank and John Green. The partners have been posting college-related videos for nearly a year on the YouTube channel Study Hall, with nearly 42,000 followers. 

Starting Tuesday, people can sign up for up to four courses on the Study Hall channel, which will begin on March 7, 2023. Dubbed College Foundations, the first four courses are English Composition, College Math, US History, and Human Communication, which the partners said were selected for being among the most common elements of a first-year, general-education college curriculum. The College Foundations series is planned to expand to 12 courses by January 2025. 

The videos in these courses on Study Hall are free to watch. However, should learners be interested in pursuing college credits, they can pay $25 to participate in fully online courses mapped to those subjects offered by ASU, including direct interaction with other students and faculty. These formal coursework programs last seven weeks, and if students are unsatisfied with their grades, they can retake the $25 course again without penalty until they've earned the grade they desire. 

The highest price comes if students wish to unlock college credits. A credit fee is $400 per course, though people who sign up before March 7 qualify for a "scholarship" price of $350 each. The amount may give some people sticker shock, but YouTube and its partners said it represents less than one-third of the average course cost at a public four-year university for in-state students and is nearly 90% lower than the average course cost of a private four-year university.

YouTube is Getting More Educational

Picture: Pond5

It is important to note that as of now the credits can then be used at any institution worldwide that accepts ASU credits. 

Ideally, the College Foundations program would also give learners confidence that they can handle college-level coursework and start earning credit toward a degree before committing to the greater expense and effort of applying for college, according to Katie Kurtz, the global head of learning at YouTube. As the series widens to 12 courses, students could accumulate "an entire full year of college credits before you've even had to apply," she added. 

Additionally, Kurtz said none of the fees associated with the College Foundations credit-earning courses generate revenue for YouTube, and the Study Hall channel, which is a collaboration of ASU and Crash Course, doesn't have advertising.

This extension of their partnership into transferable college credits heightens YouTube's ongoing interest in education. YouTube itself, with more than 2 billion monthly users and a tight connection to the world's most pervasive internet search engine, is one of the most impactful sources of online information on Earth. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, the daughter of a professor and a teacher, routinely touts YouTube as an educational resource.

She characterized the project as a product of more than four years of working to figure out ways the informal learning that people glean from YouTube can be part of a pathway to more formal learning experiences, one where learners' acquired knowledge gets some external recognition. This is one enhancement of many that you'll be seeing, she said.

Although YouTube has made quite questionable changes on the platform as of late, including removing dislikes, and new even stricter profanity rules, this program has been well-received by many compared to their previous decisions and should help those looking for alternatives to available online courses on the web.

teknologi id bookmark icon

Leave a comment