YouTube has been pushing into the edtech sector for quite a while – in this vein, it recently unveiled Courses in India – and now, it is furthering its foray into the edtech game with the launch of Study Hall, an initiative that will enable users to earn college credits online.
In this vein, it has joined forces with Arizona State University (ASU) and educational video firm Crash Course to offer courses – known as College Foundations – for college credit on YouTube’s platform itself. With the new initiative, the organizations aim to address the obstacles that many students face while pursuing high-quality higher education – namely, accessibility and cost – with the creation of an affordable and accessible avenue to help users earn college credit.
In an official blog post, YouTube described Study Hall as a new approach that “demystifies the college process while creating an affordable and accessible onramp to earning college credit. Postsecondary education drives economic and social mobility in powerful ways, yet the path to higher education can be riddled with barriers, including high cost and accessibility. We’re hoping to change that with Study Hall.”
For its part, College Foundations builds upon the Study Hall collaboration between ASU, Crash Course, and YouTube. “Developed and taught by the same faculty who conduct research and teach students on ASU’s campuses, the lessons combine ASU’s academic excellence with Crash Courses’ compelling storytelling — all on YouTube’s wide-reaching platform,” YouTube said in a blog post.
“Study Hall is an easily accessible place for learners and families to get a jump-start on college — from planning on how and where to go, to actually earning college credits,” said Michael M. Crow, President, Arizona State University. “Through the power of partnerships and technology, we continue to find new ways to break down barriers and create new pathways to higher education.”
One of the best things about the new initiative is that the credits that will be earned throughout the series of online courses will be transferable and official, and it does not burn a hole in the pockets of users. The first four courses, each having a duration of seven weeks, launch on March 7 and encompass classes that are usually taken in the first year of college – English Composition, College Math, U.S. History, and Human Communication. More courses are slated to be added by January 2025, taking the total number of courses available at the Study hall to 12.
Watching the content on the Study Hall YouTube channel does not incur any cost, and if learners are interested in taking the entire online course through ASU, then they can pay $25 to sign up and take the full course. Getting the college credit for the course costs a bit more – $400 – but it is still significantly lower than the average course costs at public and private four-year universities.
There are incentives to signing up for the courses – those who register before March 7 will get a special discount of $50 per course to receive credit. Moreover, users do not need to have a minimum GPA to enroll in the courses and receive college credit. The courses can be retaken as many times as needed until the student is content with their grade, and they can then use the credits at institutions that accept credits from Arizona State University.