Call for Papers

CfP special issue on "Emerging educational business models and marketplaces”

No longer accepting submissions

Guest Editors


Stephen Downes and George Siemens created the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) back in 2008. However, the popularity of the term grew up dramatically when, three years later, Stanford University launched the “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” course by Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig. In this course, more than 160,000 students were enrolled. From their early beginnings, MOOCs were involved into a critical discourse, with passionate advocates that claimed for a new era of Higher Education with a probably withdraw of most of the current universities, and ferocious detractors that express their outright rejection for a model that was based on the worst online learning practices.

However, in the middle of these opposite points of view, one key element was not popular in research literature: the economic model or the sustainability of the MOOC movement as a whole and eLearning in general. The topic is not trivial, especially when the “open education” concept is in the roots of the MOOCs and “open” is understood in a wrong way as “free” by a large majority of the educational community.

On the other hand, now that MOOCs appear to have reached the downward slope of the “hype cycle”, other models have recently emerged on the fringes of Higher Education and Professional and Corporate training. These models are promising more disruptive innovation and perhaps are related to a certain context of crisis in Higher Education worldwide. Thus, professor-less models or not-for-profit models are appearing in different countries with different approaches and goals.

Independently of extremist and radical opinions, in both sides of the spectrum, the interest about MOOCs has really created a context in which Higher Education institutions are thinking about the educational, business, market and funding models. Apart from that, a more mature technology is providing new opportunities for the development of new networked business models for open online courses, including MOOCs.

Thus, the purpose of this special issue is pursuing innovative business models enabled by electronic platforms and identifying opportunities related to newly emerging educational business models and marketplaces. Specifically, the special issue will explore:

  • New platforms and marketplaces for new ways of learning

  • Open education impacts on higher education and professional and corporate training business models.

  • New business models for education and training.

  • Changes in the educational marketplace and implications for management

Due to the crucial importance of education in current society, more attention should be paid to the role of technology in facilitating and managing the new business models as well as in the design of new platforms and marketplaces. On the one hand, for Information Systems researchers, this special issue offers a chance to address challenges related to the design, management and exploitation of these new business models from a technical perspective. On the other hand, for business researchers interested in new avenues of research related to the exploitation of platforms and marketplaces, it provides a room to investigate if business models in the educational arena have been disrupted by MOOC-like movements as well as new platforms.


Editors invite researchers to submit original papers that include empirical, analytical, design-oriented, or conceptual approaches that are relevant for this important topic and provide new insights for theory and practice. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Emerging educational business models

  • Technologies and platforms supporting new business models

  • New technological platforms and marketplaces in the field of education

  • Learning exchange platforms and hubs

  • Acceptance, adoption, diffusion, and infusion of new educational business models

  • Massive online education business models

  • Implications of MOOCS in learning marketplaces

  • Impact of MOOC models on traditional higher education and corporate training

  • Policy, strategy, management of emerging educational business models

  • Business processes in new educational business models

  • Commercial case studies on new educational platforms and marketplaces

Methodological and theoretical pluralism is part of the journal’s policy. We welcome submissions using qualitative or quantitative methods. We also would like to encourage submissions of interdisciplinary work by authors from different areas. If authors have any questions regarding the suitability of their work for this special issue, whether topical or methodological, they should not hesitate to contact (one of) the guest editors.


Prospective authors should prepare and submit manuscripts according to the guidelines published at All manuscripts that meet the scope of this special issue will be peer reviewed and should conform to Electronic Markets publication standards. Methodological and theoretical pluralism (empirical or theoretical work, qualitative research, design science, prototypes, etc.) is welcome by the journal. All submissions should be original, not published nor under review elsewhere. If you would like to discuss any aspect of the special theme, please contact the guest editors for the special issue. Submission must be in English and should consist of approximately 5,000 - at least 3,500 and at most of 6,500 - words. Articles must be submitted via the electronic submission system at

Submission Deadline:
May 31, 2015