In the podcast, Steve Carson revealed how many constituencies have benefited from putting course materials and lectures online:
- College applicants view the archive to preview the possibility of attending MIT, to compare alternative colleges and to decide on the best choice for their aptitudes or interests.
- Current enrollment views the archive to review course content, to clear up confusion and to prepare for exams.
- Alumni revisits the archive to refresh their memory of technical content, prepare for professional licensing exams and equip themselves for career changes.
- Faculty explore the open courseware of colleagues to get ideas for improving their own presentations, to raise the bar on their own classroom conduct and to discover faculty with overlapping research interests in other departments and/or universities around the globe
This sells the value proposition that "learning is local" which can only happen in person. It keeps customers coming back for the magic elixir they cannot get from the open courseware itself. It maintains the up-market business model of:
- bringing the problem to the solution that then scales into enormous institutional delivery systems in centralized locations with staggering overhead costs
- protecting a sellers market that sets the price higher and higher as if "you get more when you pay more" and "value" is defined as tangibles added by the seller
- offering perishable inventories that require the customers to schedule themselves according to imposed dictates of the institution
- fueling the prestigious brand and favorable market comparisons by charging higher prices and limiting access to a select few
Tomorrow I'll explore the opposite extreme: sustaining innovations gone awry.