Let’s first recap the dizzying pace of change, announcements and launches that have occurred since the Fall of 2011 between Udacity, Coursera, MITx and the latest free-learning darling, edX. It was a mere three months ago in February when I questioned whether Udacity and Coursera were in fact reforming higher education.
Arguably they already have, based not only on the launch of edX in the academic vertical but continued (perhaps competitive?) innovations occurring in the corporate learning space from Skillsoft, Pearson and Saba among others.
Some of you may be thinking this is reminiscent of the 1990’s West Coast versus East Coast rapper wars with a stand-off between Silicon Valley and Boston-based universities.
Collectively, we know that $81 million dollars has been invested in the three (or is it four MITx?) fledgling online entities thus far.
There is the possibility that edX and Coursera in particular are using these non-credentialed courses as loss leaders.
Or possibly the online free courses can add up to an official credential at some point, but the student would have to purchase the actual articulation. Think about corporate access via edX to Harvard Business School Executive Education and its talent pool.
I completed a course through Coursera from UC Berkeley SaaS Engineering Long Lasting Software. Now we have WeduboX in latin america, they just launched the beta test and their focus is the same as Udacity, Coursera and edX but in a different market: Spain and Latin America. EdX offers certificates under MITx or Berkleyx accordingly, and is affiliated with the university that runs it.


Andrea, thank you for the news about wedubox, I just checked and they finished the beta phase (with about 1.000 teachers), now wedubox is on production. I?m creating my first course and the portal is great, the looks is very similar to udacity.
It should be interesting how the dynamics between the major and secondary , US and international universities, play out during this time of change. Thankfully the recent additions of Princeton, uPenn and uMich to Coursera have alleviated that theory. Unless the purpose of a VC has changed and pigs can now fly, it reasons to stand these funding partners have their eye on a bigger prize downstream. For example, a student completes 120 articulated credits via Coursera over a 6-year period, and she wants a degree now to show for her efforts. Through the magic of the partnerships, the student can be provided the degree for a fee. And if Coursera, edX and Udacity prove me right, they eventually will get into the corporate learning platform space. I happened to hear about it just after the Mitx and Udacity announcements last year so I jumped in. That meteorite is headed for the dinosaurs and they best devise a way to prevent extinction.
I am doing courses with EdX, Coursera and Udacity to suppliment my (quite rigid) traditional university study.
I also wouldn’t be surprised if the new Academic partners in Coursera have also funded the endeavour, perhaps behind the scenes.


When Harvard realized the Bruins were out of the Stanley Cup playoffs, they decided to get cozy with MIT and their MITx initiative.
Think about companies who may be keenly interested in analyzing the online studying behaviours of people. I see a day where corporate customers will utilize a cloud-based version of their platform but in a secure, private manner. This enables me to tailor my learning to what I want rather than some run of the mill degree. With each institution investing $30m into the pot (when MITx launched a mere 6 months ago) shows you how much potential new money is at stake. This is a classic example of investing for the long term by all stakeholders from each of the projects. It’s those learners who are receiving a free course that will be (unknowingly?) providing data points to companies in search of trends and the like.
What originally was free could now be a revenue stream for the academic institutions and both parties are happy.
I see these projects as opportunities to upsell fee-based programs and degrees that otherwise might not have occurred due to the lack of a sales channel.



Making will form
Computer classes for high school students killed
Conflict resolution training techniques
Management consulting agreement


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