Using MOOCs to market to adolescents

March 2, 2015

In an article in Inside Higher Ed, author and entrepreneur Ryan Craig claims that PSE institutions have made 2 significant mistakes in developing massive open online courses (MOOCs): they did not develop a proper business model, and they assumed that their target market was older professionals living outside the US. Craig argues that institutions are really trying to reach adolescents around the world. To achieve that goal, Craig says that institutions must rethink their approach, and consider the success not only of courses offered on sites like Udemy but also of YouTube stars. With that in mind, he says, institutions shouldn't use older, distinguished faculty members to deliver MOOCs, but younger, more digitally savvy professors and educators. Craig cites courses offered by the University and Pennsylvania and Rice University as examples of his preferred approach; they feature young, energetic, and telegenic individuals who are not necessarily faculty members. Institutions, Craig concludes, "should view MOOCs as an important channel for reaching prospective students around the world, and target content accordingly." Inside Higher Ed