MOOCs at Five

Alex Usher, Higher Education Strategy Associates, Sept 22, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

One of the biggest disappointments I had with the commercialization of the MOOC through the Stanford and MIT products was the idea that the MOOC would have to be "sustainable" through some user pay mechanism. In 2009 the average tuition was around $4500; this accounted for between 30-50% of the total cost of an education. And of course it was paid only by wealthier families; low income earners need not apply. If you multiply that by the 2 million people enrolled in post-secondary institutions in Canada, you get $18 billion. If MOOCs could have reduced this number, they would have been a substantial success, and not cost students a dime. I think we could have made a dent in that. But too many people sound like Alex Usher, saying "The problem is there’s no revenue model here." No, that's not the problem.

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