Generally, if something is labelled as "e-learning", it's not a good sign, as it implies that it adheres to the "teacher"/"student" separation which Ciro Santilli much despises: E-learning websites must allow students to create learning content.
Charging for certification is fine. Creating exams and preventing cheating has a cost.
Another thing that is fine charging for is dedicated 1-to-1 tutor time. This is something Udacity is doing as of 2022. has a good mention:
MOOCs were first created by people with utopian visions for the internet. This means the idea for platforms like Coursera was likely conceived without a business plan in mind. Nonetheless, Coursera has managed to monetize its platform. It is worth noting, however, that monetization has lead to the effective elimination of the original MOOC idea, which is predicated on ideals like free and open access, as well as the building of online communities.
Coursera users must pay to engage with the material in a meaningful way and take courses for individualistic purposes. This has been a consistent trend among all major online education platforms.
and it links to:, very good article!
That is a fundamental guiding principle of The educational content must be licensed CC BY-SA!
Perhaps the most reliable way of reaching this state is E-learning websites must allow students to create learning content.
This is a key philosophy of!
MOOCs are a bad idea. We don't want to simply map the pre-computer classroom to the Internet. The Internet allows, and requires, fundamentally new ways to do things. More like Stack Overflow/Wikipedia. More like
A more specific type of E-learning website generally run by a specific organization.
A website, usually hosted by an university, that takes what is done in class, and pastes it online. It is already much more rational and efficient, and opens up the way for potential sharing outside of the institution (or by default paywalling as the University of Oxford did.
The fundametnal problem with VLEs is that they tend to not have enough incentives for students to contribute at all to the content. This is basically the major motivation behind
Some courses at least allow you to see material for free, e.g.: Lots of video focus as usual for MOOCs.
It is extremely hard to find the course materials without enrolling, even if enrolling for free! By trying to make money, they make their website shit.
The comment section does have a lot of activity:! Nice. And works like a proper issue tracker. But it is also very hidden.
As of 2022:
  • can't see course material before start date. Once archived, you can see it but requires login...
  • on free mode, limited course access
Fuck that.
Also, they have an ICP.
November 2023 course search:
By the Open University. "Open" I mean.
Some/all courses expire in 4 weeks: Ludicrous.
Video 1. My online university and why it is needed interview with Jordan Peterson (2018) Source. Cheaper and online. Initial focus on social sciences.
Kudos for being a not-for-profit. Also, anyone can create content: e-learning websites must allow students to create learning content. Oh, but TODO is possible for anyone to make content publicly visible? Course join links lik: require login. If that's the case, it is a fatal flaw not shared by
Another cool aspect is that they have the "physical world teacher pull student accounts in" approach built-in quite well at course creation. This is a very good feature.
As of 2021 they were a bit struggling for money it seems:
Like Jimmy Wales, he used to work in finance and then quit. What is it with those successful e-learning people??
These people have good intentions.
The problem is that they don't manage to go critical because there's to way for students to create content, everything is manually curated.
You can't even publicly comment on the textbooks. Or at least Ciro Santilli hasn't found a way to do so. There is just a "submit suggestion" box.
This massive lost opportunity is even shown graphically at: (archive) where there is a clear separation between:
  • "authors", who can create content
  • "students", who can consume content
Maybe this wasn't the case in their legacy website,, but not sure, and they are retiring that now.
Thus, License: CC BY! So we could re-use their stuff!
TODO what are the books written in?
Video 1. Richard Baraniuk on open-source learning by TED (2006) Source.
It is a shame that they refocused to more applied courses. This also highlights their highly "managed" approach to content creation. Their 2022 pitch on front page says it all:
for as few as 10 hours a week, you can get the in-demand skills you need to help land a high-paying tech job
they are focused on the highly paid character of many software engineering jobs.
But one cool point of this website is how they hire tutors to help on the courses. This is a very good thing. It is a fair way of monetizing: e-learning websites must keep content free, only charge for certification.