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Online Education 2.0: An Open and Non-Profit Business Model for the Future

Open source, open enrollment and delivered by non-profit higher education providers. This is the description of online higher education 2.0, according to Cate Long, who writes for MuniLand on Reuters.

MOOCs, she says, are expanding access to higher education and providing an antithesis to the high-priced, online and for-profit approach of institutions like the University of Phoenix.

Citing a recent Moody’s report, she points out that not only will MOOCs and online learning technologies reduce costs for students, they will create more flexibility in program scheduling and will enable more faculty productivity.

She also points out a number of ideas related to how MOOCs can be revenue-generating, from charging tuition for certificates or degrees to selling programming to other institutions to allowing paid advertising on the course site itself. Major steps have been taken recently to increase the legitimacy of MOOCs as well, including the introduction of proctored exams to certify learning outcomes.

While there are still problems to be addressed—for example the extremely low completion rates—the delivery method is changing the face of education and forcing traditional institutions to re-define their value propositions, and work hard to compete.