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Re: [xmca] The business of education

Hello -- the letter from Meister is really worth reading. It explains why
MOOCs need the CSU system (and other public higher education connections)
more than CSU needs MOOCs.

Although short-term, the linkup with Coursera to offer MOOCs in various
disciplines appears to solve the immediate problem of how to expand access
to already crowded, booked-up, high-tuition face to face classrooms, it
solves a different problem for Coursera and other big MOOC companies.

That problem is, long-term ? and this is an important problem, since
Coursera, like the other MOOC companies, is a private company, like
Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo,  Amazon, etc. -- how to make money. Right now
MOOCs are free, or at least some are free. How can they figure out how
much to charge? How much are they "worth" --?

The  simplest way to figure that out would be to hook up with a state
university and say, "Our class is worth three credits at San Jose State,
and tuition at San Jose State for three credits is $2,400, so our class
should cost $2,400."  But it can get much, much  more fine-grained than
that, since all kinds of personal information gets collected when someone
enrolls in a class.

Bottom line- without the hookup to established institutions, all the MOOCs
offer is celebrity teachers doing what are essentially TV shows or
audiotape classes (you may have noticed that the price on Great
Teacher-type audio tapes have crashed from $299 to less than $100
recently). So no matter how celebrated a professor is, it's the hookup to
an institution that makes it possible to establish market value. And make
huge money in the long run.

Which is basically gutting the public education system and transferring
its authority to  exchange credits for tuition to a private company.

Another argument for free public higher education -- the only way that
public education can compete against a for-profit system.


On 5/11/13 1:30 PM, "mike cole" <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:

>The following letter from the UC faculty association president seems worth
>distributing. Fraught futures.
>CUCFA President Meister's Open Letter to Coursera Founder Daphne Koller
> http://cucfa.org/news/2013_may10.php


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