Beginning next month, the massive open online course provider Udacity will cut the first O from the acronym and only offer MOCs. Founder Sebastian Thrun, whose "pivot" last year shifted the company's focus to corporate training, in a blog post announced Udacity will stop issuing free course completion certificates on May 16. The course materials will still be available on the website for independent study, but in order to earn a certificate, students need to verify their identity. That track is currently available for about $150 a month.
"Discontinuing the 'free' certificates has been one of the most difficult decisions we've made," Thrun wrote. "We know that many of our hardworking students can’t afford to pay for classes. At the same time, we cannot hope that our certificates will ever carry great value, if we don’t make this change."
Pearson Embanet could earn up to $186 million over 11 years from its deal to manage the new University of Florida online college, The Gainesville Sun reported. The article details efforts by the university to keep many details (including how Pearson Embanet's performance will be judged) private, saying that they are trade secrets.