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How edX plans to earn and share revenue from its free online courses

How can a nonprofit organization that gives away courses bring in enough revenue to at least cover its costs?

That’s the dilemma facing edX, a project led by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that is bringing in a growing number of high-profile university partners to offer massive open online courses, or MOOCs.

Two other major providers of MOOCs, Coursera and Udacity, are for-profit companies. While edX has cast itself as the more contemplative, academically oriented player in the field, it remains under pressure to generate revenue.

More by Steve Kolowich for The Chronicle of Higher Education.