A recent study released by Babson Survey Group found that nearly half of institutions that invest in MOOCs do so for marketing purposes, with 20 percent of colleges and universities saying they use the courses to drive student recruitment.

The final, and most expensive, option is the traditional semester-long course at the Harvard Extension School.

“You gain full access to the teaching staff, receiving human feedback on assignments,” the course’s edX page promises. “Enroll for undergraduate or graduate credit and you will receive grades on a Harvard transcript.”

The course is offered only online, but local students are encouraged to attend the filming of the lectures on Harvard’s campus. The cost for this option is $2,050.

The course’s lectures  are also already offered for free s part of Harvard’s comparatively low-tech Open Learning Initiative.

Harvard has not released enrollment numbers for the course’s three different models as the data is still being collected, said Michael Rutter, communications director for HarvardX. The free MOOC is likely to have the most students with more than 170,000 already signed up.

“I can say that we have been encouraged by the results and that students seem to understand the various differences, and value, among the three experiences,” Rutter said.

Follow Jake New on Twitter at @eCN_Jake.

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