It has been a big month for Coursera as Minnesota bans its courses, but not really. Some reports, from the Chronicle for example, have implied that students can no longer legally take courses from one of the biggest open education providers due to an old law, which forbids students from taking from organizations that haven’t been registered with the state. This prompted Coursera to change its Terms of Service to exclude Minnesota’s students. However, as of this morning, I can’t find the “Notice for Minnesota Users.” (I did find specific language for “California Users” on their consumer rights. I wonder if other states will create their own codes for MOOC providers.)
Minnesota’s Office of Higher Education has decided not to enforce the law as it has no way to control internet usage. Slate has reported that Larry Pogemiller, director of the Office of Higher Education, supports Minnesota students’ use of Coursera. Similar to California’s specific terms of service, the law is only trying to protect consumers, not limit educational opportunities.
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