As one of the leading MOOC providers, Coursera has got $1 million in revenue from Signature Track launched eight months ago. For those who are not familiar with MOOC, it's basically an online education platform that enable people to take (college) courses from anywhere.
So why this news is great for MOOC? Because it shows skeptics that MOOC is able to generate a sustainable business model which many people doubt about. $1M seems to be minor considering its huge amount of investment. But Signature Track has only been around for eight months. As Coursera continues to roll out Signature Track courses and promote this service, there will be certainly more paid users.
In the long term, the real question will be how valuable Verified Certificate is? When you successfully complete your course’s Signature Track, you’ll receive an electronic Verified Certificate issued by the participating University and Coursera. The motivation that people are signing up Signature Track is because they can use Verified Certificate to find jobs or build credentials. Does it really help? At least now, no definite answer to this question.
We still need to see how employers view this Certificate. But once Coursera is able to convince users that Verified Certificate is able to boost one's competitiveness, Signature Track would be a huge success. Don't forget "M" in MOOC stands for "Massive". They are able to scale up easily compared to the traditional education services.