An article about MOOCs’ costs, promoted by big universities and consortia and a new elearning platform for developing countries, promoted by the Commonwealth for Learning (CoL).
MOOCs for Development – http://acreelman.blogspot.pt/2015/08/moocs-for-development.html
Discussions about MOOCs high costs seem to me fallacious, since most of the courses are included in the current offer of institutions and the platforms are highly monetized with a great number of courses and thousands of participants. And some entities have offered MOOCs out of platforms, just using free tools and social media, and they work as well or even better than the ones on closed platforms.
In fact, I believe that MOOCs play an important role regarding HE institutions marketing, better than any paid advertisement (which has high costs).
I consider that a MOOC requires a careful planning and previous preparation which may involved a smaller or larger team of professors and technical support and requires an extra effort of monitoring hundreds and thousands of participants (though most of them are lurkers) along the course, but HE institutions can project a visibility and gain many supporters involving so many participants that benefit of the quality of these courses.
The fact that many of the MOOCs already offer a low cost certification may help to reduce the MOOCs’ costs as well, even if only a small number of participants require certification it may correspond to a big number related to the mass of enrolments.
Regarding the new elearning platform – http://mookit.co/ – it seems to me that there are already many free and open source platforms available, it’s just one more.
A participant in a developing country with low access to the Internet or communication failures will always face problems with any platform or online service. So, the important issue is to provide resources in multiple formats to overcome the demand of multimedia resources from the informatics systems and communications networks, and guarantee the inclusion of all participants (with and without disabilities).