Why MOOCs Aren’t So Cheap For Colleges

Career College Central summary:

  • Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) aren't terribly cheap for the colleges and partner platforms producing them. Building a MOOC involves writing lecture scripts, rethinking course structure, creating a slew of multiple choice quizzes, adapting grading software, filming lectures and (sometimes) discussion groups, editing footage, and building a course page. Once the course goes live online, someone has to pay for chat feed monitors, glitch repair, and a squad of tutors and administrators.
  • So what do MOOCs actually cost the producers? Some are cheap, like self-produced off-the-cuff lectures delivered in front of a webcam and uploaded via an open source platform like Google's Course Builder. However, MOOCs that professionally shot and edited and then spliced with interactive features can cost on the order of a quarter-million dollars.
  • Udacity budgets $200,000 for each course it makes. For many technologies, production costs decrease after their initial development, but Udacity's costs are likely to keep rising as it launches MOOC 2.0, a modified version that includes more personal interaction with professors, tutors, and mentors. In its partnership with Georgia Institute of Technology's new MOOC-ified master's degree in computer science, Udacity expects to double its costs to $400,000 per course.

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