Case | HBS Case Collection | August 2013 (Revised September 2015)


by Ramon Casadesus-Masanell and Hyunjin Kim


By providing free and open-access online courses at a large scale, Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platforms seek to innovate the business models of the traditional higher education industry. In a little over a year, Coursera had grown at a rapid rate to emerge as a leader of the MOOCs in terms of the number of student enrollments, courses, and partners. The case examines two aspects of these developments in the industry: (1) What choices did Coursera make that enabled it to grow so quickly? (2) In what ways did Coursera's success impact the success of its competitors, Udacity and edX? Would one player naturally come to dominate the industry, and if so, what choices should Coursera make to retain its market positioning?

Keywords: business models; strategy; competition; competitive advantage; Business Model; Online Technology; Higher Education; Competitive Advantage; Education Industry;


Casadesus-Masanell, Ramon, and Hyunjin Kim. "Coursera." Harvard Business School Case 714-412, August 2013. (Revised September 2015.)