Yesterday the New York Times covered Coursera and the possible options for the company to monetize. The article cited the popularity of online education and MOOCs in particular, all of which seems promising for the future of online education — if only
the companies offering MOOCs could figure out how to make money in the process.
Coursera has grown rapidly over the past year, with enrollment reaching over two million last month, according to the Times article. There are 70,000 new students signing up a week for over 200 courses, which are taught by faculty at 33 top universities.
Coursera’s founders, Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, would still like to keep courses free, particularly for poor students. Investors are in no rush to see profits, as they believe the most important objective at this point in the game is to build high-quality content so as to attract universities wanting to license their courses.
Licensing to universities seems the most likely course for monetizing, but the company is also open to charging for certificates of completion. Some partners would like Coursera to monetize in the near future so as to avoid the mistake of giving away their product free for too long.
Check out Tamar Lewin’s article in the New York Times to learn more about why MOOCs are not proving to be lucrative just yet.
And readers, if you’ve taken a MOOC, remember that we want your reviews! Check this page for more details.