If you’re wondering what the impact of MOOCs will be on formal higher education, one answer came in the form of two interesting stories about the upcoming holiday season:
Thousands of shoppers headed to Target to shop last holiday season. Some made purchases at Target; others pulled out their smartphones, scanned product barcodes and made purchases online instead.
To prevent that practice, commonly known as “showrooming,” Target has pledged to match prices with select online retailers — including Amazon.com. Mashable
The Wall Street Journal reports that Best Buy is planning to match prices on many items offered by Amazon and other online retailers during the holiday shopping season. The move appears to be part of a larger effort from Best Buy to crack down on the number of consumers who scope out products in bricks-and-mortar stores and then buy them more cheaply online, a trend known as showrooming. Mashable
In the same way that online stores are clearly exerting downward price pressure on brick and mortar retailers – to the extent that they’re sending out press notices indicating that they’re responding to those price pressures – one impact of MOOCs on formal higher education will be this same type of downward price pressure. Watch for announcements about how institutions will respond.