EdX developing plans to earn revenue from its MOOCs

Dive Summary:

  • Legal documents given by to The Chronicle of Higher Education by edX provide details on how the nonprofit MOOC provider plans to make money and pay its university partners.
  • University affiliates are offered a choice between a "university self-service model," which allows a university to use edX as a free learning management system in exchange for any revenue generated by a course being returned to edX, and an "edX supported model" in which the organization serves as a "production assistant" for the school's MOOCs at a base rate of $250,000 for each new course.
  • These financial arrangements still don't answer how the MOOCs will make money in the first place or whether courses that do make money will earn enough for universities to see a cut, but potential strategies include deals with outside companies, like publishers, or the licensing of one university's MOOCs to another university.

From the article:

How can a nonprofit organization that gives away courses bring in enough revenue to at least cover its costs? That's the dilemma facing edX, a project led by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that is bringing in a growing number of high-profile university partners to offer massive open online courses, or MOOCs. Two other major providers of MOOCs, Coursera and Udacity, are for-profit companies. While edX has cast itself as the more contemplative, academically oriented player in the field, it remains under pressure to generate revenue. ...

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