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Even if higher ed was tuition/fee free, they still would have admissions requirements and natural limits on how many students can be served, wouldn't they? (In confess ignorance about how admissions work for German and Open Universities.) An important feature of MOOCs is the "open admission" aspect of the "(much contested) Open part of the model. I'm not even sure that it's true that "free" is their most important feature. We're already starting to see organizations talking about charging fees for their "MOOCs" and anticipating that they will still have massive numbers of students enrolling. The main feature is probably that they have low marginal costs, which means that they can be free or that the savings can be applied in other ways. The Georgia Tech computer science degree announced last week uses MOOCS, charges for them, plans to have 10,000 students in the program. The low marginal cost of providing the courses will be used to let anyone take them and win themselves admission into the program. Robert McGuire Editor, MOOC News and Reviews
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May 24, 2013