Providing online premium content and services at a cost, especially for professional learners, has been discussed. Yet, for this model to be successful, the value which is provided through these services should be clear and higher than its cost. The challenge is therefore to identify the most important needs to the professional learners who will be following our courses and develop corresponding services which are not (yet/enough) covered by the market. There is also the challenge of making this premium services compatible and complimentary to the free EIT Urban Mobility training which is also available, as well as a pricing challenge (a higher price will decrease demand and vice versa).
Do you agree with the statements above? Is this a significant need that requires our attention? What’s you view regarding the analysis?
We should here focus on trying to understand the nature of the problem, so please try to avoid discussing concrete solutions, even if it is difficult. Potential solutions will be discussed in the next step of the process.
2 thoughts on “Premium/high-value services in online learning”
Questions I ask myself:
– The key challenge here is to identify the topics (and online learning formats) that employers (but sometimes also employees at their own expenses) are ready to pay for.
– If these topics or services are not on the market, does it mean it may not be a profitable product? or that has not yet gained momentum to attract enough public or private investment?
– Many training services may also exist internally without us being able to identify them, at least among larger corporate companies or organisations (corporate academies)? How to map this?
– Maybe we can also ask ourselves about the added value of EIT UM Academy compared to other learning organisations, in particular our role at EU level: EU law has a strong impact on urban mobility, technology etc.
– Business model: what about securing investments from customers before developing the product ? Here the difference between a customised course and ‘open’ course can be discussed
– what should be free, what should be not? the length, the details and the purpose: what courses aim at raising awareness and create visibility (free services) and what course intend to teach either a skill or knowledge.
– Pricing: a lot of marketing mechanisms exist to stimulate demand (early bird, groups, country of origin, types of companies, membership, etc.), however the difficulty lies in setting the initial pricing. Online courses can be very cheap (50-150 euros). So we have to see what types of online courses bring more value and how to price them, for example: we develop asynchronous online courses and sell them cheap but many (are we able to reach out to so many people?) or rather a blended course (we sell it expensive, but with less people)..
Even if this is not a separate call focus area we should consider how to put demands on proposals to, to the extent possible, verify a demand prior to development. Course development need to be based on a solid need/potential assessment including the potential to be repeatable and scaleable. We can fund development given an attractive plan giving a course the coming years generating significant future impact and revenue. This needs to be clear up front and to be described in the proposal making the evaluation and assessment easier. The risk level (balance between risk and potential return/impact) may be different for different areas.