Update on the MOOC Market: Things Moving Fast


This week we just published our new research bulletin on the MOOC market (available to members) and things are changing fast. A few important new announcements which I will be discussing at the HR Technology Conference in October.

1.  Coursera announced that its new "Signature Track" has now generated a million dollars of revenue and is growing. This feature enables students to "verify" that they have completed a course through a variety of testing and identification tools. Businesses can purchase these "signature certificates" from Coursera and give them to employees to incent them to take Coursera courses. Yahoo has already done a deal with Coursera and much more is coming. Coursera is getting more serious about the corporate market every day.

This is an easy and reasonably priced business solution and will definitely drive revenue to the MOOC players.  EdX is doing something similar, and offers custom services to corporate buyers.

2.  Google announced plans to partner with edX and not only contribute to the edX open source (edX offers its code base on an open source basis) but also contribute Google's Course Builder technology. This gives edX more momentum in the market, and helps the organization attract even more third party developers.

3.  EdX and Google just launched "mooc.org," a site which will help companies and individuals build their own courses and share them on an open version of the edX platform.  Think about it as the "YouTube of MOOC content."  I think about MOOCs as essentially "YouTube for educational content" – now there is one by name. We don't know if you will be able to charge for courses here yet, but that's likely to come.

This new site creates more of a marketplace for online courseware by non-academics. The company which is dominating this space today is Udemy, which already has thousands of courses online, many authored by world experts in their field. Blackboard has also entered this market with its CourseSites environment.

Lots more to come here.  Please join me at the HR Technology Conference on October 8 to learn more.

Josh Bersin

Josh Bersin writes on the ever-changing landscape of business-driven learning, HR and talent management. His favorite topics include strategic talent management, creating high-impact learning organizations, and how organizations drive business change and competitive advantage through talent strategy and technology.

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