By Anthony Silva, WBZ NewsRadio 1030 New England Business Editor

BOSTON (CBS) – You’ve loaded lots of free apps on your Smartphone; now, welcome to the world of free online education.

UMass is announcing its first two free and open online courses. They will begin next year.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Anthony Silva reports

They are known as MOOC — Massive Open Online Courses, and they may change the paradigm of tuition-based learning.

Alan Girelli, Director of the Center for Innovation and Excellence in eLearning at UMass, calls it an astonishing trend. He tells me one of the big questions is how to make it a movement with a lasting an impact.

The first UMass MOOC courses will be in Molecular Dynamics, SEO Services and Analytics and Environmental Studies.

Other universities have attracted thousands of students to MOOC courses. Girelli says this is a quantum leap, but he calls it an extension of the open courseware movement.

MOOCs offer certifications, but not degrees. Girelli says it will be interesting to see how employers compare UMass degrees earned and paid for stack up against the richly developed — but free — MOOC content.


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