The Airbnb of digital education? How platform-based business models could revolutionize higher education.

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Lehrstuhl für Betriebswirtschaftslehre, insbesondere Technologie- und Innovationsmanagement


Platforms are among the most successful business models of our time. Airbnb, Uber and Apple changed the way we travel, ride a taxi, listen to music and soon how and where we learn? In this Master's thesis, the question of what an open learning platform could look like in the future will be investigated. The development of an open and participative learning platform goes further than the development of classic business models in one-sided markets. Two-sided (platform-based) business models are highly complex. There are different partners that influence and affect each other thus, forming an ecosystem of different stakeholders. The platform operator has to organize these different partners in a network. However, this means that a platform operator has to develop and coordinate several value propositions simultaneously.
In this master thesis, the development process of a developing an open learning platform is accompanied and scientifically analyzed. First, potential partners and stakeholders are identified. Subsequently, the current business models of relevant stakeholders must be examined and their potential role in a digital learning platform investigated. The aim of the work is to derive specific recommendations for the design of an open learning platform. The master thesis is methodically supported e.g. by expert interviews.

Keywords: Platforms, Business Models, Higher Education, Digital Education