Interview with Eric Robison – CEO of Lynda.com

As I noted yesterday, many of the problems we associated with MOOCs may already have solutions (or at least precedents to consider) that come from other realms of online learning.

For instance, what business models might MOOC vendors ultimately embrace, and can these models provide the revenue needed to sustain and grow?

One way to find out is to talk with those involved in an organization that has successfully navigated a profitable pathway in the world of online learning.  And most people would put Lynda.com at the top of their list of companies that have found a way to make online education both rewarding and profitable.

Eric Robison became Lynda.com’s CEO in 2008 and joins us today to discuss what Lynda.com’s success might mean for MOOCs and other forms of technology-driven learning.

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One Response to Interview with Eric Robison – CEO of Lynda.com

  1. Dan Companion October 3, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    Great interview! I subscribe to Lynda.com and absolutely love it, I agree with Eric that Lynda provides a tremendous value to its members. Also, Lynda.com has done a great job of marketing their services to institutions and educational organizations. Lynda.com is being used by major college universities and corporations as a supplement to the learning experience and like a virtual tutor.

    Lynda.com’s value comes from the secret sauce of providing a quality digital\video product, excellent video based instructors, and courses that will enhance productivity in the work force.

    As I have studied the MOOC movement, i have come to the conclusion that learning is done really in three core areas: cultural education systems (public education), work force learning (job related or skill development), and finally recreational (for personal enhancement).

    MOOCs at the moment are lost in the abyss of having no path to value. As pointed out in this interview and Jonathon’s comments after the interview, the quality of production is still at very low levels and the organizational uniformity of taking these classes are inconsistent. If we look to the recent enhancements to Kahn Academy and how Kahn Academy has positioned itself has a true tool for assisting teachers in the classroom, its value is really starting to penetrate via cultural learning (public schools). For the first time, I was walking in downtown Burlington, VT on the waterfront bike path and overheard a father asking his daughter if she had finished her Kahn Academy exercises, I smiled and responded to the conversation with a big high five to the father for using this tool. I ask the young girl how she liked Kahn Academy ? She said, “It’s good.” Sal is very funny and it doesn’t seem like I am learning, but I am.” These are profound words for a youngster, because we all want that experience when the instructor is so good that we don’t feel like we working to learn but learning because it creates a motivational passion. Of course this can’t happen with every subject but I can say my favorite instructor on Lynda.com is Simon Allardice, the fact that I know that speaks volumes. And finally, I will give kudos to my 10th grade English teacher, Mrs. Sterns, she gave me the little hope I have today with the idea of writing.

    Thanks so much for doing this interview and looking at where success might lie for MOOCs.

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