Newly minted Dr. Justin Johansen’s dissertation study, The Impact Of Opencourseware On Paid Enrollment In Distance Learning Courses, is now available from BYU’s Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) archive.
This dissertation is the first piece of empirical work I am aware of that demonstrates clearly that a distance learning program can simultaneously (1) provide a significant public good by publishing opencourseware and (2) be revenue positive while doing it. In other words, Justin’s study not only demonstrates that it is possible to publish opencourseware without requesting donations from users or foundations, it goes further and demonstrates that it is possible to make money publishing opencourseware. And if you can make money publishing opencourseware, you can continue publishing opencourseware for a very long time. This capacity is also known as sustainability.
Congratulations to Dr. Johansen!
P.S. John Hilton will be defending his dissertation, which applies a similar methodology to examine the impact of giving away free e-books on the sales of printed books, February 11!