Brief

Are the days of free MOOCs coming to an end?

Dive Brief:

  • The overseer of Stanford University’s massive open online courses program predicts the university will turn away from offering online courses for free.
  • Instead, says John Mitchell, vice-provost for online learning, the school will likely offer low-cost, high-volume online courses supported by external grants, foundation gifts, and other means, Times Higher Education reports.
  • Stanford has provided more than 240 online and blended online/campus courses to 2 million students since 2011, including more than 50 free courses.

Dive Insight:

Mitchell is just expressing what many in MOOC circles are thinking: Free MOOCs were a nice way to spread the word about the wonders of online learning, and to plant flags on the online learning landscape for individual university brands. But giving away product for free is not a sustainable business model. Mitchell says monetizing career development MOOCs may be the next step for universities, and as more people have to pay for their MOOCs, the dropout rates for online classes will naturally decline.

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Filed Under: Higher Ed Online Learning