The cost and benefit analysis for universities that develop their own MOOCs, for universities that integrate MOOCs into existing curricula, and for end users can be summarized as follows:


University Develops MOOC
University Integrates MOOC
End users
Costs
- High monetary costs
- Lower incentive for actual enrollment (6)
- Participating faculty have less time with actual university students
- Time required to create and maintain
- Increased cheating and plagiarism (2)
- Deters from university brand recognition
- Less customized to fit school's needs than an internally designed MOOC
- Causes all users to think similarly (3)
- Requires basic computer skills
- Requires internet connection
- Requires self regulation, no professor is actually present to encourage the user to stay on track
- Increased temptation and ease to plagiarize and/or cheat (2)
- No college/university credit(8)
- Imperfect grading for non technical subjects(13)
- Limited professor interaction and feedback
Benefits
- Increased faculty recognition
- Potential revenue from certifications and other universities
- Increases university brand internationally(1)
- Fosters a collaborative learning environment between universities (4)
- Lowers number of necessary faculty
- Creates more time for in-class learning and collaboration (19)
- More comfortable learning environment
- Free
- High quality of education
- Collaboration with individuals with similar interests (4)
- No time constraints
- No distance constraints (1)

What problems does the technology solve for universities that develop their own MOOCs?
Increased Faculty Recognition -- With larger classes of students from many different regions in an emerging technological industry, professors involved in MOOCs will become more well-known and respected.

Potential Revenue -- While MOOCs are free to enroll and participate in, universities could bring in revenue from its large classes by selling certification and partnering with other universities.

International Recognition -- As shown below, the large majority of Coursera students (approximately 61 percent), for example, are participating from outside the United States. (1) The international attention will likely improve the public relations and reputation of the participating university.

Coursera_student_breakdown-300x269.png


What new problems is the technology likely to introduce for universities that develop their own MOOCs?
High Monetary Costs -- There are high upfront costs involved in purchasing the hardware and developing the software necessary to accommodate a MOOC. Despite participation in the course being free for the end user, these costs are absorbed by the developer.

Lower Incentive to Enroll -- Some have criticized MOOCs for devaluing higher education. The argument is that it could become unnecessary to enroll in a university and pay tuition if a quality curriculum is offered for free online.

Time Commitment -- Along with the monetary costs of developing a MOOC also come the less tangible costs. Requiring the university's IT team to work on the new system will demand their time and attention, diverting it from other opportunities.





What problems does the technology solve for universities that integrate MOOCs?
Collaborative Learning Environment -- Connecting multiple schools through common MOOCs diversify the conversation and allow different demographics of similar interests to work together.

Less Faculty -- Without the limits of a physical classroom and human graders, more students can be taught by fewer teachers. This would allow universities to employ fewer workers and, thus, save money.

More Productive Classes -- Implementing a MOOC alongside a traditional lecture-style class would allow professors to use class-time more efficiently. Information and other media could be delivered to the students outside of lecture, giving the professor more time in-class to interact with the students.


What new problems is the technology likely to introduce for universities that integrate MOOCs?
Deters from University Brand Recognition -- By implementing a MOOC created by another organization, it heeds criticism of the university's own curriculum. It would still benefit the students, but would not create as much positive reputation for the school as if it were to design its own.

Less Customization -- Implementing a MOOC relies on the skill of the MOOC designer/professor. Using it as a substitute for a physical classroom or an internally designed MOOC prevents a university from having say over the lessons taught.

Academic Dishonesty -- By allowing users access to the internet during testing, there is an increased chance of plagiarism and cheating. Also, the automatic grading system makes it difficult to perfectly grade non-technical subjects.





What problems does the technology solve for end users?
More informal learning environment -- Compared to a classroom, the online structure of a MOOC allows students to learn in a less formal workspace. This is a benefit to those who are averse to lecture hall-style education.

Free to Use -- There is no charge to participate in a MOOC (though it may cost to earn college credits). It is even possible to participate in a MOOC through a university with which you are not enrolled.

Easily Shared Information -- The open and online nature of the course allows work and opinions to be shared amongst other participants (with similar interests) quickly. This rapid flow of communication and information are what drive MOOCs forward and attract participants who seek to actively learn.

Flexible Structure -- MOOCs can be network-based, task-based, or content-based. Its flexibility allows it to be used to teach/learn a wide variety of lessons. Further, unlike scheduled classroom lectures, MOOCs can be used around time and distance constraints.


What new problems is the technology likely to introduce for end users?
Digital Literacy -- For the reason that MOOCs are used over the Web, it requires the user to have internet connection and basic computer skills. This could be a barrier of entry to older and underprivileged participants.

Unconventional -- Students who have grown accustomed to traditional teaching methods could initially have a difficult time retaining information. There is a level of self-regulation necessary to get the most out of MOOCs. Also, it is possible to receive certification for completing a course, but very few universities are awarding credits for completing a MOOC.

Unguided and Organic -- Without strict curriculum, courses can deviate from original purpose. The participants decide the outcome of the course.

Less Social -- MOOCs lack the in-person relationships formed through traditional education methods. It is possible to complete a course without actually meeting any other participants. This includes the relationship with the professors.