California Puts MOOC Bill on Ice

August 1, 2013, 3:30 pm
By Steve Kolowich
Legislation in California originally aimed at getting state colleges to award credit for massive open online courses and other offerings from nonuniversity providers has been shelved for at least a year.
The bill, SB 520, caused a stir when it was introduced, in March, by State Sen. Darrell Steinberg, a powerful Democrat in the California Legislature. Faculty unions strongly opposed it, and later drafts of the bill would give faculty-governance bodies more oversight of what outside courses could count for credit.

Now Mr. Steinberg has shelved the bill. The senator will re-evaluate next summer whether the legislation is still necessary, said Rhys Williams, a spokesman.
The senator changed his mind after the three public systems in California moved to expand their online offerings. California State University, for example, announced on Wednesday that it would offer 36 online courses this fall that could be taken for credit by students at any of the system’s 23 campuses. Read more.