Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Minnesota's Coursera eviction will be reversed

A few weeks ago Minnesota got some app.net attention. Alas, it was because we looked a bit silly ...

Minnesota Gives Coursera the Boot, Citing a Decades-Old Law - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education

... The state’s Office of Higher Education has informed the popular provider of massive open online courses, or MOOC’s, that Coursera is unwelcome in the state because it never got permission to operate there...

... Tricia Grimes, a policy analyst for the state’s Office of Higher Education, said letters had been sent to all postsecondary institutions known to be offering courses in Minnesota. She said she did not know specifically whether letters had been sent to other MOOC providers like edX and Udacity, and officials there did not immediately respond to questions from The Chronicle.

But Ms. Grimes said the law the letters refer to isn’t new. “This has been a longtime requirement in Minnesota (at least 20 years) and applies to online and brick-and-mortar postsecondary institutions that offer instruction to Minnesota residents as part of our overall responsibility to provide consumer protection for students,” she wrote in an e-mail....

I asked my illustrious state representative, Michael Paymar, about this. He responded by paper letter (that's the way it works). Briefly the Office of Higher Education will work with legislators to change the law. The Director Larry Pogemiller said that nobody should bother registering and Coursera was fine in Minnesota.

Unsurprisingly this was a well intended law designed to protect students from old-style educational fraud, but it's obsolete now.

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