The opportunities—and risks—in the MOOC business model

Kylie Lacey's picture

Advocates of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) claim they have the potential to transform higher education by expanding academic access on an unprecedented scale. But in the technology's early days, it remains to be seen whether this promise can be realized. So we asked The Experts: What are the opportunities—and risks—in the MOOC business model? This discussion relates to a recent Journal Report article offering an early report card on MOOCs and formed the basis of a discussion on The Experts blog on Oct. 11 and 12.

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LEE NEWMAN: In terms of risk, there is, of course, the uncertainty that surrounds the nature of MOOCs as viable businesses. As in the early days of dot-com, the business community is asking "How will you make money?" And to date, the answers given are far from convincing. Yet, as with Google, Amazon and other dot-coms that went on to survive and flourish, the current paucity of compelling answers does not imply that compelling models will not come.

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