University? We don’t need no stinkin University

“Online Class Aims To Earn Millions,” Wall Street Journal, August 31, 2013 A3. Two professors at UT Austin are trying to make millions from online psychology course.  Following Coursera, EdX, and other online, watch-it-when-you-want-it college course offerings, they are trying to get 10,000 students at $550 each.  No time-shifting allowed.

Implications? Well, compare what’s happened with newspapers.  Which ones can still charge for access to daily content (WSJ is one) versus access to the archives?  Who needs the big campus quad to get a degree (or to pass the tests seniors may have to take to satisfy prospective employers?  (See earlier post at

I am not an economist, but let’s say there are 2,000 professors nationwide offering an introductory psychology course.  One of those professors is “the best.”  How do those other 1,999 professors stay in business if “the best” puts his or her course online at a reasonable rate?  Without the overhead of an ivy-walled university with a great reputation.

Who :owns” the content?  The university or the prof?


Just asking.

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Filed under Data quality, New Implications, Ownership, Risk, Use, Value

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