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Next in the Evolution of Distance Learning: Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

Abstract

Introduction

This report examines how massively open online courses (MOOCs) are shaping the higher education industry and how education technology vendors can capture new opportunities arising from the MOOC trend.

Highlights

  • A myriad of powerful market forces are driving MOOCs.
  • The industry is motivated for MOOCs, but the models and monetization are unclear
  • MOOCs will not mend the broken higher education cost model but will change how higher education is paid for in the future

Features Benefits

  • Analyzes the implications of creating and using MOOCs in higher education
  • Highlights the pros and cons of MOOCs for both institutions and vendors
  • Offers recommendations for institutions and technology vendors on how to approach MOOC opportunities.

Questions Answers

  • How will MOOCs shape the higher education industry?
  • How can existing education technology vendors extend their offerings to include MOOCs?

Table of Contents

Headings

SUMMARY

  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages
    • A myriad of powerful market forces are driving MOOCs
    • The industry is motivated for MOOCs, but the models and monetization are unclear
    • New opportunities are being created for existing education technology vendors
    • MOOCs will change how higher education is paid for

MARKET CONTEXT: INSTITUTIONS ARE SEEKING NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH

  • Online learning programs will expand in new ways
    • A myriad of factors is driving the uptake of MOOCs
      • The cost of higher education continues to rise
      • The acceptance of online learning is growing
      • The pervasiveness of devices in higher education is increasing
    • MOOCs' momentum will stall if inhibitors such as financing are not addressed
      • MOOCs are unlikely to sustain themselves if they are free
      • Where course credit is available, it may not be widely recognized
      • Plagiarism is serving as a hurdle to the adoption and reputation of MOOCs
    • Skepticism continues to tower over the MOOC movement

BUSINESS FOCUS: NO BROADLY ACCEPTED MODEL FOR MOOCs YET

  • Successful online learning models remain to be seen
    • Distance learning has evolved from correspondence courses to fully online degrees
    • The current business model for MOOCs is not sustainable
    • MOOCs will not mend the broken higher education cost model but will change how higher education is paid for

TECHNOLOGY FOCUS: FIGURING OUT THE BEST TECHNOLOGY TO SUPPORT MOOCs

  • Tools enabling online instruction are more effective than ever
  • YouTube has made the technology needed for MOOCs easier
  • As MOOC mania grows, so does the competitive landscape
    • Blackboard
    • Coursera
    • edX
    • Instructure
    • Khan Academy
    • Knewton
    • Udacity
  • Ahead lies a clear opportunity for education technology vendors

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Recommendations for institutions
    • Tread carefully with MOOCS
    • Institutions must be prepared to manage the inevitable burst of innovation to meet student demand and generate revenue
  • Recommendations for vendors
    • Do not confuse the technical view of MOOCs with the institutional view
    • More LMS vendors should extend their offerings to include MOOCs

APPENDIX

  • Further reading
  • Methodology
  • Author
  • Ovum Consulting
  • Disclaimer

Figures

  • Figure 1: What is a massively open online course (MOOC)?
  • Figure 2: The drivers and inhibitors of MOOCs
  • Figure 3: The increasing cost of higher education in comparison to other goods in the US
  • Figure 4: Student loan debt growth since 1999
  • Figure 5: The 'freemium model' for MOOCs
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