We know that one of the major reasons for  MOOCs to become popular was that they were  free. That was in the early days of MOOCs. Quite a few MOOCs are still free and there are several that have some parts free. MOOCs are slowly moving away from the free model and gravitating towards becoming revenue earners. Let us take a look at the different ways in which MOOC platforms can be monetized.

User Fees

Most courses now have a part of the course that can be audited for free, and a separate part with evaluations and certifications that come with a specified user fee. Also, some platforms help students to create a profile and link them to these courses. This way they have an electronic course record which is safe, secure and easily available anytime. And of course, a small fee is charged for the service.


Not all learners have the same requirements. It helps if a course is structured in such a way that learners can takeaway micro-credentials at various points on the course. Such micro-credentials bring in revenue for the trainer and are a value-add for learners.

Degree certifications

MOOC platforms often give away a lot of learning for free but charge for certification, especially if it is a complete degree at the end of a course.


Most  universities and other course creators  pay some amount for the first time use of an online portal and then a smaller amount for  subsequent usage. This fee, called licensing fee, has turned out to be one way of monetizing MOOC platforms. And as e-learning courses proliferate, licensing fees have become a constant source of revenue for MOOC platforms.

Course design & consultation fees

Most online platforms offer consultation and design services to universities and other trainers. They help the universities/ trainers create custom designs for their courses and charge them for the service. . This service works for both parties. MOOC platforms monetize their skills and course creators pay for these services which are very essential for creating successful e-learning courses.

Sponsored/customized courses

Nowadays several corporations outsource employee training to  online platforms.  Fees from such customized. sponsored training programs are a good source of revenue for MOOC platforms.

The money aspect of the MOOC equation needs to be successful for MOOCs to continue to exist. While some MOOCs continue to be kept free, monetized MOOC platforms are here to stay.