Monetizing MOOCs An article review...

Korn, M. & Levitz, J. (2013, January 01). Online courses look for a business model – free classes, open to the masses, seek to generate revenue from content licensing, exams or job-referral services. The Wall Street Journal, p. B8.

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) attract tens of thousands of learners which in turn have attracted millions of dollars in venture capital despite the absence of a clear business model that provides evidence of a venture’s revenue generating potential and despite the fact that courses are non-credit. Coursera and Udacity, both founded by Stanford University professors along with EdX, a nonprofit funded by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology are the top three MOOC providers. Both Coursera and Udacity have attempted generating revenue through job referral services while the latter also offers sponsored courses. Udacity and EdX partnered with Pearson VUE to offer fee-based proctored exams. Results have not been promising because fewer than 10% actually complete a course and even fewer are willing to pay to take the exam or become qualified for a job referral. Content licensing is another revenue model being considered, however tuition-paying students of licensed institutions that incorporate MOOC content into their curricula will expect to earn credit toward their degrees.

Kathleen Marrs, Ph.D.
Kathleen wants to live in a world filled with open books, open source, open hearts, and open minds in which diversity is embraced and creativity flourishes. A long time CPA turned online professor, Kathleen’s life was transformed upon completion of her dissertation An Investigation of the Factors that Influence Faculty and Student Acceptance of Mobile Learning in Online Higher Education.Her statistical analyses was called ”pioneering” by her committee chair Dr. Marlyn K. Littman and brought Kathleen full circle back to her number-crunching roots inspiring her to earn a second master’s in Business Intelligence.Kathleen plans to continue her studies of contemporary issues related to teaching, learning, and technology and loves to help undergrad and grad students achieve their academic and professional goals. As a lifelong learner she also plans on continuing her quest to understand the problems posed by mobile and micro learning formats and find innovative ways of helping people maximize the benefits these emerging technologies afford.

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