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Top 10 ed-tech stories of 2013, No. 2: MOOC business models

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“Flipped” and adaptive learning programs gained traction on campus. A high-profile internet hoax involving a college athlete propelled the term “catfishing” into the public consciousness. MOOCs hit some key stumbling blocks, while the notion of a college degree became more fluid.

ed-tech These were some of the key ed-tech developments affecting colleges and universities in the past year—and we’ve got a full recap for you right here.

In this special all-digital publication, the editors of eCampus News highlight what we think are the 10 most significant higher-education technology stories of 2013.

To learn how these stories have made an impact on colleges and universities this year—and how they’ll continue to shape higher education in 2014 and beyond—read on.

2. Universities struggle to identify an appropriate business model for MOOCs.

Last year, the biggest higher-ed tech story was the emergence of massive open online courses (MOOCs), as they took higher education by storm. In 2013, however, some growing pains were evident as universities considered how to adopt MOOCs in a way that makes sense for their institution.

Should universities grant credit to students who complete MOOCs? If so, how can they ensure the integrity of students’ work? Do MOOCs represent a viable business investment? Can charging a nominal fee for participation offset the costs of MOOC production or even help turn a profit? These were some of the questions that campus leaders faced this year.

In January, a new business model for MOOCs emerged, as nine universities piloted a program called MOOC2Degree that offers students free access to MOOCs for credit in hopes of increasing college enrollment and accessibility.

Shortly after that, Coursera announced that five of its MOOCs were recommended for credit by the American Council on Education (ACE), opening the floodgates on offering MOOCs for credit.

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