Fee payments lift MOOC completion rates

Tim Dodd, Australian Financial Review, Apr 12, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I am not at all surprised to hear that charging fees increases the course completion rate in online courses (I refuse to call fee-based courses MOOCs). As I have long argued, the low completion rate in MOOCs is reflective of the low level of risk, and was an attribute, not a problem. Low risk meant that people could sample MOOCs and use them however they want; add fees, and the purpose is limited and the risk is increased. If you want people to complete the MOOC then a fee will weed out those who are just browsing. It will also weed out those who can't pay, but who cares, right? It's all about quality, and fees will create quality, without the need to change anything else.

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