LinkedIn to Allow Users to Add MOOC Certifications To Profiles

LinkedIn has teamed up with seven online education providers to allow to users to add certification and courses to their profiles. The new partnership allows LinkedIn users to include educational accomplishments that go beyond the traditional institutions, writes Emil Protalinski of The Next Web.

In partnerships with Coursera, edX,, Pearson, Skillsoft, Udacity, and Udemy, LinkedIn has launched a new pilot program called Direct-to-Profile Certifications that will show off online study achievements.

LinkedIn wouldn't share if it plans to expand this list if the pilot is successful, but even if it doesn't, it looks like the professional social network has its bases largely covered.

Once a user completes a course with a participating provider, LinkedIn will send her/him an email that includes a link with an automatically populated certification field. The details of the course a user just completed are provided by the online education firm.

All you have to do is hit "Save," and LinkedIn will add the certification or completed course work to your LinkedIn Profile. LinkedIn plans to work further with the online education community "to explore even better ways to make it easier for you to seamlessly update your LinkedIn Profile," but it wouldn't explain exactly how.

According to LinkedIn, this is its first step in making it easier for users to keep their professional profile updated. The company intends to partner with other providers of courses and classes.

Despite criticism over their effectiveness, MOOCs are on the rise. MOOC provider edX is seeking to partner with several educational institutions in the UAE and the Middle East to host Arabic-language courses within the next six months, edX Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Anant Agarwal said.

EdX was founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012 and offers many online courses for free. According to Agarwal, the translation to other languages will help reach many students.

Based in United States, edX offers 85 online courses from 29 universities on an open source platform that can be hosted by other organizations. EdX has about 1.5 million students, and learners from nearly every country have enrolled in edX's courses, according to Agarwal. He added that edX planned to offer 1,000 courses over the next three years.

Another MOOC provider Coursera recently announced that it has partnered with over 100 academic institutions from all over the world. The online education provider now offers 500 courses and boasts five million students. It recently formed partnerships with 13 new institutions representing 11 countries, bringing its total number of partners to 107.

Coursera partners with the world's leading universities to offer online lectures as low-cost or free video courses. It allows students to access content outside the traditional lecture hall, allowing open accessibility to people around the world.

Some schools are putting faith into online education and offering credit directly. The University of Cincinnati (UC) has decided to start its first MOOC offering free credit hours for those who enroll in some of its programs. A seven-week MOOC2Degree course, titled Innovation and Design Thinking, will be co-taught by Lindner's Drew Boyd, assistant professor-educator of marketing and executive director of the master of science in marketing, and Jim Tappel, assistant professor-educator at CEAS. The online class will utilize weekly lectures, assigned readings, live chats and guest speakers.

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