So what are the barriers that must be overcome for the MOOC concept (in future generations) to become self-sustaining? To me the most obvious barriers are:
- Developing revenue models to make the concept self-sustaining;
- Delivering valuable signifiers of completion such as credentials, badges or acceptance into accredited programs;
- Providing an experience and perceived value that enables higher course completion rates (most today have less than 10% of registered students actually completing the course); and
- Authenticating students in a manner to satisfy accrediting institutions or hiring companies that the student identify is actually known.
Given this short timeline and the nature of investment-backed educational experiments, I think the real focus should be on whether and how MOOCs or successor models build on current scalability and openness while overcoming these four barriers.
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