Freemium education

There’s been some coverage recently of this intiative by MIT and Harvard.  I’d take issue with the statement that this promises to ‘upend higher education’ and in fact would argue that the scenarios implied in the Huffington Post piece, together with the long-established traditionally-focused institutions behind the initiative, all fit with the argument that, while an interesting and worthwhile innovation, this won’t transform the higher education landscape.

In fact one view of this is that MIT and Harvard are embracing the ‘freemium’ business model shared with many other players who use the Internet.  The online courses delivered with EDx are the free product, and these enhance the reputation of the organisation as a whole, while the traditional degree courses with a high face-to-face component are the premium, paid-for, product.

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