For a long time, I Interpreted MOOC as (Free) Massive Open Online Course. I was taking the FREE for granted. Is that the happy ever after ending for online education?
Coursera announced a new goal to provide corporate training for companies such as MasterCard; Stanford predicts the university might turn away from offering online education for free. The Utopian view of MOOC is coming to a pivot, if not an end.
MOOC, if charging student fee, is expected to run a low fee, mass student base model.
For those who really cannot afford the cost of taking MOOCs, grants and fee waves can be given, if they have shown strong motivation to complete and turn this into action.
For most of current MOOC learners who are well educated middle class, paying a bit of the money might not be a bad idea to increase engagement and persistence to finish the course. The current no barrier to enter or exit does make people take good quality education for granted. Well, it is free, available any time, anywhere so why not study it tomorrow. With that thought, I then go on watching videos, eating ice creams.
Having that said, I believe platforms need to figure out two key questions – who is the paying consumer and what they are paying for? The first strategic question is who pays here? individuals or companies? Then the second question follow, what value proposition exactly the payers are paying for.