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Old 06-22-2012, 10:06 AM
Hillbilly Hillbilly is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: West Virginia
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Default Re: Wow, what a ride!

Originally Posted by cambridge11 View Post
I was wondering if we can receive any kind of certificate or transcript for the course? I know Udacity provides a certificate on the completion of a course.
As you probably know already, Udacity is a business, that offers courses on its own, independently of any affiliation with universities. So it can do whatever it wants. Free online courses like Learning From Data, with an existing university involved, raise many complex issues when it comes to issuing certificates. This was a big controversy at Stanford last year, when some profs there started up free online courses. Those profs went on to found Udacity, and a competing business Coursera, each with different philosophies on the certificate question. The MITx initiative is yet another approach.

I agree it would be great if the LFD staff could issue us a certificate, or something, or even an email, acknowledging our completion. A bit of thought reveals why it's not easy. What would such a document mean, exactly? What does it allow the student to legitimately claim? What kind of misunderstandings and misrepresentations might occur? What's to prevent just anyone from faking the document? Would it dilute the stature of genuine credits and degrees from Caltech? Will Caltech be inundated with requests from Human Resources departments requesting verification of the document? And so on.

Caltech and Professor Abu-Mostafa are pioneering something new with LFD. Maybe all those issues above will get worked out, eventually. I'm happy just to have had the experience.
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