http://www.slate.com/etc/designs/slate/images/sl-sprite-hp.pngBy Will Oremus. In just one year, Coursera has established itself as the giant in the rapidly growing field of online higher education. It has done it by partnering with dozens of prestigious universities around the world to broadcast lectures to the masses, for free. Not surprisingly, this approach has proven stupendously popular. The New York Times’ Tamar Lewin noted that Coursera drew one million users in its first four months, more than Facebook or Twitter.
The massive expansion has been financed by venture capitalists, who will of course eventually expect a return on their investment. But venture capitalists can afford to be patient. Their risk is matched by the potential for enormous long-term returns. Read more...