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Thursday, 13 August 2015

OpenClassrooms Launches First MOOC-Based Bachelor Degree Recognized By French State

You won’t have any excuse to skip class anymore. French startup OpenClassrooms is launching the first State-recognized bachelor degree in France that relies exclusively on MOOC. The startup partnered with IESA Multim├ędia to create this program.

There are three learning paths in engineering, design and digital marketing. Students will have to complete all the courses and required projects in order to get their degree. It’s the exact same degree that you would get at IESA, except that you won’t see any teacher. IESA is already working on 40 different MOOC for this program.

On average, it will take a year of hard work in order to complete all the classes. As always, it’s hard to stay motivated when you subscribed to a MOOC — that’s why every week, you will get to video-chat with a mentor.

There are many key advantages for this kind of degree. For IESA, it lets the school enroll more students. IESA is a private institution, and its end goal is to generate as much revenue as possible. So with these new MOOC students, IESA will be able to get a higher “average revenue per teacher.”
For OpenClassrooms, the company will certainly get a cut as a technology provider. The startup already has a premium offering for €20 per month, but you need to subscribe to the Premium Plus offering and pay €300 per month to access the state-recognized program. It’s unclear how much OpenClassrooms will keep, but it should be more than €20 per month.

For students, it’s a cheaper way to get a degree. Maybe you can’t afford to study for three years at IESA and pay €6,950 per year. OpenClassrooms lets you work and study at the same time, and pay a lot less. Sure, it’s probably a less enjoyable experience than going to your school and interacting with other students and teachers, but it makes sense for some students.

It’s an interesting new direction for OpenClassrooms, and I can’t wait to see whether other schools will start working with the startup to provide online courses. It will be interesting to see whether the first students are satisfied with this kind of degree as well.

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