There is Big Money in MOOCs

Chances are that you have heard about many of the popular MOOC platforms today. Services like Coursera, edX , and Udacity are starting to become household names due to the strategic alliances and marketing choices they have made in the past year and a half.

One this is for sure, MOOCs are here to stay – and they are here to make money.

Big money.

In fact, investors are lining up to get behind these MOOC platforms. Coursera even recently secured tens of millions of dollars (again) in additional funding. If there is one thing that is always a certainty, it is that investors will want to see their money back, and with interest.

To be honest, I take no issue with MOOCs turning a profit – the same way that higher education needs to realize income, it only makes sense that MOOCs are able to do the same. There are real expenses to contend with when you have millions of site visitors and users per day.

Currently it is not quite clear exactly how the MOOCs will turn a profit, but there is some speculation. The infographic below  (created by atf.org) details some ways that the investors will see a return on their investment.

When monetization is finally implemented on a large scale, I wonder if the user experience will suffer or improve? There have been some general complaints about the quality of the learning experienced offered by MOOCs, in particular the logistics component of a course.

I would hope that in the end it means these platforms have the ability to hire more support and technical personnel, which in turn would benefit the users.

What do you think? Are you looking forward to when your favorite MOOC starts monetizing their platform?

The-Money-in-MOOCs-Infographic

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About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

3 Comments
  1. Since I am a Professor it is kind of a stab in the heart that 98% are rejected. MOOC’s are not good for Professors who love teaching; and I don’t believe they are good for students. The completion rate is only about 5% and unless there are live chats, there is no feedback to the student, which does not help them improve. I have taken several MOOCs from the UK – there is interaction between students, but not between students and Professors. Of course I already have a degree so I did not care about feedback – but I think most students care. A poll of my students in F2F classes have indicated just that. Another recent poll said that 85% of students that take MOOCs are like me, they already have degrees. More power to them, I suppose, if they can make money – the institutions may make money, but the Professors probably won’t – but then that’s only 2% so . . .

  2. Vladena Baetge Jahn

    Hi, I think there is a mistake in the first section of the “flyer” .
    Udacity is Thrun and Coursera is Koller-Ng business.

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