Is the real value in online education from relationships?

Coursera’s offering a real master degree, and access to faculty is the key differentiator between free and paid.

From Quartz:
Users  can test out the program by taking some courses for free and earning  specialization certificates. Then, they’ll decide whether they want to  pursue additional classes — which  include direct contact with the university faculty — for the full  degree, at a cost of $20,000 (less than either an on-campus degree or a  traditional online degree).

The  talking-head-in-a-box is reduced to marketing in this freemium  equation. This reflects the business model of a lot of the smaller,  specialised online schools.

In the Source Thesis,  we investigate why the power of the student-teacher relationship is  undervalued in online education, and why the scale levers that online education promises sell increasing irrelevant content as platforms push farther afield.

Relationships  don’t scale as easily, but they don’t have to when you let go of the  idea that education needs to be done by teachers. When that happens, peers can educate each other, and do so on topics of relevance and immediacy.

Salim Virani

Salim Virani

Founder of Source Institute. I've developed educational programs for some of the world's top-tier accelerators and business schools, like Seedcamp, Oxford, UCL and the Royal Academy Of Engineering.