What business model for Moocs?

Before we discuss the economic model of MOOCs, do these courses, which aroused enthusiasm a few years ago, not run out of steam?

After the enthusiasm unleashed by this new type of course, which was at its highest level in 2012-2013, criticism has actually been heard about their quality, their cost and their relevance. Expectations have fallen and their business model has been questioned.

I assume that in addition to the fashion effect, it is a real social phenomenonalthough it is still very immature in its current version.

The economic challenge today is to find, either in a defensive logic, how to curb the production of MOOCs so as not to lose too much money, or in an entrepreneurial logic that get a return on investment.

What income can Moocs earn?

Today, there are three levels of certification whose prices are rising. Besides proof of participationvery cheap, the platforms offer to deliver at the end of a Mooc a certificate of acquisition of knowledge, or even for a specialization when several courses have been taken within the same theme.

This is the case, for example, with Future Learn, which allows you to obtain a £ 39 performance certificate. Udacity, for its part, issues Nanogrades to those who have taken courses ranging from six to twelve-month courses, including video conference coaching and assessed group activities. Paid certificates today constitutes the Moocs’ most important economic model.

EdX, for its part, goes further with its Global Freshman Academy: courses validated as part of a Mooc can be converted to credits and then to a certified license from the University of Arizona, a partner in this project.

Paid certifications are now the most important economic model for MOOCs.

Can Moocs be charged?

It must be determined whether a paying Mooc is still a Mooc. This is contrary to the original philosophy and the o’et in “open”, but on an educational level it seems to me so. Already, fee-for-service is starting to evolve, because it is a way to make the startup investment profitable.

At LearnAssembly, together with the Poult group, we proposed a Mooc on managerial innovation, and we realize that asking for an entrance ticket, in this case of 19 euros, is not blocking.

It is not certain that in five years there will still be completely free MOOCs. Either way, it will be necessary to pay to follow a MOOC or to become certified.

How is it likely that the market will develop?

Regarding the B to C business [business to consumer], which still needs to be consolidated, the logic should be “the winner takes everything”, which prevails in the digital realm. The ability to invest and achieve economies of scale is so crucial, which will accentuate market concentration within three or five years. Hence one market skimming of Mooc platforms.

The second model, B to B [business to business], is hybrid digital learning. Mooc make up a teaching method among others : it fits into a continuous training system in blended learning, including a Mooc or certain Mooc modules in a micro-learning logic that better meets the expectations of companies than a pure Mooc, too long and too academic for them.

Generally speaking, while we are likely to see one utilization of platforms, this should not be the case for Moocs itself. Because the needs, expectations and temporaryities in terms of education are suchit is impossible to standardize the online training offer.

LearnAssembly in a nutshell
This company was founded in 2012 and supports around thirty large companies in their digital transformation strategy through corporate MOOCs and blended learning programs, such as Axa’s digital academy.
For more information, visit the LearnAssembly website.

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