Business opportunities around MOOC
Many experts think it is too early to say about real revolution in higher education as MOOC can not ensure getting of all skills a student can get in a college. A practice aspect of education process is missed. And also a college atmosphere is very important thing and can not be compensated with something when a student learns with MOOCs.
MOOC providers don't have alternative for things outlined above. But someone other can provide alternatives to that things. And this is good business opportunity to offer services around MOOCs aimed to replace traditional college things missed in MOOCs.
MOOC (massive open online courses) become popular more and more. Lots of people are involved in a discussion about MOOC. E-Learning portals publish news and press releases related to MOOC every day. Millions of students learn courses and leave their feedback.
One of most popular discussions related to MOOCs is about if is this possible MOOCs replace traditional higher education. Many experts think it is too early to say about real revolution in higher education as MOOC can not ensure getting of all skills a student can get in a college. A practice aspect of education process is missed. And also a college atmosphere is very important thing and can not be compensated with something when a student learns with MOOCs. MOOC providers don't have alternative for things outlined above. But someone other can provide alternatives to that things. And this is good business opportunity to offer services around MOOCs aimed to replace traditional college things missed in MOOCs.
Tutoring for individuals and groups.
A college student can always ask a professor for some help with his learning to understand something. MOOC students can not do this. Of course, there are online forums. But live communication is always better. This is why soon we will see such new service like tutoring service for MOOC students. We can expect appearing of web sites where MOOC students can find someone in his local area who will help him to learn an online course for reasonable fees. Many tutors will agree to work with groups of students learning same work. This will be cheaper then alternate part of a college education process. So this is good business opportunity to be independent MOOCs tutor or create a company who offers tutoring services to individual MOOC students or groups.
It is really difficult to learn from home when you are alone. It would be nice if you can go somewhere to a place created specially for learning. And much better is when you can find friends to learn MOOC together and you have good place where to do this. Many MOOC students would pay some reasonable money for using a room where they can learn together with other such students. This is same as businessmen pay for co-working when they don't need an office full time. So there is a new business opportunity – short time room renting for online courses students and groups.
Certification and examining.
One of MOOCs education problems is a student is not awarded with any degree. A student may list completed courses in his CV. However, an employer can not know what was real result of this education. Some MOOC providers examine their students and issue certificates. However, a big need in an independent knowledges certification exists. Both MOOC students and their possible employers need to have student's knowledges assessed. Therefore, new business opportunity appears for skills certification companies. A students can be examined after every MOOC or after a group of MOOCs by an independent company. A certification company can even award a college level degree after a set of exams. And this is still cheaper than a college education
Practice training services.
Big part of a college education is working in laboratories on practice projects. Especially for live sciences or physics students. MOOCs students can not do practice projects in laboratory. But then would like to do. And many of then will be ready to pay money for time in laboratory. So we can expect one more new business appears soon. It will be short time renting of educational laboratories for students of MOOCs. This can be integrated with co-learning services also. And this will not be expensive for group of MOOC students to rent a laboratory for 3 days to do their biology or chemistry project.
Students chummery and community support services.
As we mentioned above one of biggest benefits of college education is unique atmosphere of students community. Young people don't want to lose so interesting experience in their life. This is why they will prefer expensive college education instead of free MOOCs. Consequently, there is new business opportunity- a service to recreate “college atmosphere” for MOOC students. Such companies will offer a chummery service. MOOC students can live together like college students do. But every student there will have own individual education path with MOOCs. And in free time after learning students can have their traditional entertainment, same as college students do. And, of course, this will be cheap as such time of business can have intense competition.
Education Path support services.
When a student is in college then he don't need to care about education process organizing. But in case of self education with MOOCs a person need to control process himself. Creating a path to learn courses, finding tutors, place where to learn, finding for friends to learn together. All such tasks can make a free student is perplexed. This can be one more problem preventing real changes in higher education. However, the problem can be solved by companies and individuals who offer “education path support” services. For small money (we can expect from $100 to $1000 per year subscription) a student can get tips on every step of his education. On of popular cases will be when group of students will hire an independent education consultant to help them to get education and support on their path. Also parents will be interested in such type of service to be sure their child moves in right direction.
Of course, future education will not be free if we expect it fully replaces traditional college education. But it is much cheaper then college education because of more intense competition between companies smaller than colleges. Such type of services will have low threshold of entry into the business. As a result, prices will be more democratic than in a college.