Jim Groom briefly but insightfully runs the numbers on the Georgia Tech / Udacity deal:
Apart from all sorts of misgivings about Georgia Tech’s MOOCish Master’s program in Computer Science, I want to take a moment to do the math. You charge $7000 a year tuition with the idea you’ll have a 2-year cohort of 10,000 students. If you add that up, you get $140 million. That’s massive, especially when you’re only hiring eight new faculty to educate those 10,000 students. Follow the money, this is no joke, the profits are huge even after you split 40% of the kitty with Udacity.
Those are some truly staggering numbers. And just as easy as that, MOOCs are simply the “new” elearning – purportedly less expensive than on-campus instruction, purportedly just as effective, and with the promise of thousands of new students flocking in from around the world driving unimaginable levels of new revenue.
It’s like a national regifting of the 1990s hype around elearning with a giant MOOC-colored bow on top.