Blackboard today announced a free, flexible option for running massive open online courses (MOOCs): a hosted instance of Blackboard Learn, the company’s flagship learning management system (LMS).
The platform will be available soon to all Blackboard clients at no extra cost in a non-exclusive, non-binding manner. The option lets schools retain full control over the form and direction of their MOOC courses. In addition, institutions maintain all current and future revenue associated with MOOCs that are offered for-pay or for-credit.
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“We hope it’s enough money to get us to profitability,’’ said Daphne Koller, a co-founder of Coursera. “We haven’t really focused yet on when that might be.’’[Clip]
Over the next few months, Coursera plans to double its employees to about 100, and expand in several areas, including mobile apps and its Signature Track offerings, which charge a fee to students who want an identity-verified certificate upon successful completion of Coursera’s free courses. Since January, when the Signature Track option was first offered in five courses, Signature Track fees have produced more than $800,000, Ms. Koller said — and in the long run, she said, such revenue may be enough to make the company sustainable.
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