Monday, July 22, 2013

More on MOOCs

Below is an excerpt from another article detailing the rise of MOOCs on the Web.  A large number of major universities around the world have jumped into the game at various levels.  The entire endeavor strikes me as similar to the travel industry's reaction to the Web and the ensuing slaughter of most travel agencies.  Universities that figure out where and how to fit into the emerging process will do great.  Those that fail to do so will, I think, fail.  One thing that's clear, nobody knows what the right business model looks like yet. 

The industry has similar network economics to Amazon, eBay and Google, says Ms Koller, in that “content producers go to where most consumers are, and consumers go to where the most content is.” Simon Nelson, the chief executive of FutureLearn, disagrees. “Anyone who thinks the rules of engagement have already been written by the existing players is massively underestimating the potential of the technology,” he says.
Certainly, there is plenty of experimentation with business models taking place. The MOOCs themselves may be free, but those behind them think there will be plenty of revenue opportunities. Coursera has started charging to provide certificates for those who complete its courses and want proof, perhaps for a future employer. It is also starting to license course materials to universities that want to beef up their existing offering. However, it has abandoned for now attempts to help firms recruit employees from among Coursera’s students, because catering to the different needs of each employer was “not a scalable model”, says Ms Koller.

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Brian O' Hanlon said...

I've probably linked to the D10 conference panel of Hennessy and Khan here before, but its worth linking to again I think.

Brian O' Hanlon said...

One other thing. I really liked the way that the London School of Economics have opened up their envelop so to speak, and invited in a whole wider population of virtual attendees, to hear lectures and comment from some of the finest brains in economics and finance in the world, in recent times.

If I had to choose one particular institution, through which I enjoyed interacting by far and away the most, without ever actually stepping foot into the same institution, it would have to be the London school of economics.