The explosion of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) can improve the prospects of top-tier universities while creating financial problems for smaller, lesser-known and for-profit schools, according to a new report from Moody’s Investor Service.
The subscriber-only report predicts that MOOCs will allow well-known schools to bring in new revenue, heighten brand recognition, and reduce operating costs, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported. Two of the possible business models mentioned in the report are content licensing, where schools sell academic content to other schools, and charging students for end-of-course certificates.
However, smaller, regional universities and for-profit colleges might be able to use MOOCs to increase brand awareness and cut costs, but they risk a long term loss of market share to bigger universities. Report author Karen Kedem, vice president and senior analyst at Moody’s, wrote that the impact of MOOCs will be felt most acutely throughout the low-cost, commuter schools and for-profit college who will feel “credit stress” because of declining student demand.
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