Two more Stanford professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller have broken off to create a new online learning startup called Coursera with financial backing from two of Silicon Valley’s premier venture capital firms, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and New Enterprise Associates. The startup will provide interactive courses in the humanities, social sciences, physical sciences and engineering using the inverted Khan Academy model of knowledge management and partnering with top universities including Stanford, University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton. It has secured $16 million in venture capital.
Unlike many new startups, the business model is becoming clear. From a community of millions of learners some should ‘opt in’ for valuable, premium services. Those revenues should fund investment in tools, technology and royalties to faculty and universities.” In fact there is a fear that these startups will “disintermediate” universities by spotting the brightest talents among students and hiring them directly. Other startups include Minerva. For essays, students help by grading each other’s work and providing peer coaching (with an average 22 minute response time).
The companies are providing real world ROI examples including workers who have been able to keep their jobs by upgrading their skills or solve difficult problems such as the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in Japan.
- Cousera Offers Free Higher Education to the Intellectually Curious (theepochtimes.com)
- Generating Revenue from MOOCs (cccblog.org)
- Coursera’s fee-based course option (insidehighered.com)
- Coursera Announces Details for Selling Certificates and Verifying Identities (chronicle.com)
- Four Coursera online classes are deemed worthy of college credit (latimes.com)
- Coursera’s Virtual College Courses Now Get You Real Credit, For Under $200 (fastcompany.com)
- Education Technology Marketplace Growing Says FreeWebsite.com (prweb.com)
- Online Courses (socyberty.com)
- Foreign universities consider how best to enter the MOOC market (insidehighered.com)