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The demand is established. The state university here recently launched some courses and, if I remember correctly, they got 5 figure enrollments for some classes. Even at $1 per that might be a reasonable return, but there is a big deal about it being free and collecting money introduces a new infrastructure problem.

MOOCs are a different context than regular courses, even if they use the same software. I know a community college where they offer a lot of on-line classes, which helps a lot in serving the community. But, there is regular registration, grading, and such that makes it functionally equivalent to a classroom course. With MOOCs, as I understand, it is much more about just dissemenating knowledge to the largest possible community. It is going to be hard to even do any real grading since one has no idea who is one the other end of the wire.
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