Since Amherst College decided not to join EdX, more and more colleges and universities have signed up, hoping to put their own courses online. But bubbling under this debate are questions about the quality of online learning and whether credits should be issued.

Fueling the debate is a recent survey produced by The Chronicle of Higher Education: Nearly three quarters of professors who teach these free online courses don't think their students should get credit as they would in a face-to-face class.